Computer Architecture

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1 Computer Architecture Random Access Memory Technologies április 2. Budapest Gábor Horváth associate professor BUTE Dept. Of Networked Systems and Services

2 2 Storing data Possible types of memories: ROM: read-only Classical ROM: the content is stored during the manufacturing process PROM: one-time programmable EPROM: can be erased using ultraviolet light Etc. SRAM: Static Random Access Memory Can be read and modified any time DRAM: Dynamic Random Access Memory Can be read and modified any time It forgets its content! Needs to be refreshed periodically.

3 Storing data in SRAM Computer Architecture Gábor Horváth, BME-HIT 3

4 4 Storing a single bit in SRAM An SRAM cell consists of a bi-stable flip-flop The bit and its inverse is also available WL = word line: selects the memory cell for operation BL = bit line: reflects the stored bit once the cell is selected BL = the inverse of the stored bit It does not forget the data till power supply is present

5 5 Storing a single bit in SRAM Reading the value of the bit: The BL and BL are precharged A logical high value is given to the WL The switches represented by the transistors get closed Selects the cell The BL will be equal to the bit stored The BL will be equal to the inverse of the bit stored The sense amplifiers detect the difference of BL and BL...providing the bit stored in the cell

6 6 Storing a single bit in SRAM Writing the value of the bit: The BL and BL lines are set according to the bit to store (BL=1, BL=0 if a bit 1 needs to be stored and vice versa) A logical high value is given to the WL The switches represented by the transistors get closed Selects the cell Since the driver transistors of the BL and BL are stronger than the transistors of the cell, the value if the bit is forced to the flip-flop

7 7 Internals of an SRAM cell Each inverter is implemented by two transistors 6 transistors are needed to store a single bit! This makes SRAM very expensive

8 8 Array of SRAM cells SRAM cells are organized to a 2 dimensional grid The address bits are decoded and the appropriate WL line is enabled The entire row gets selected The individual cells of the row represent the bits of the data unit Only data units (rows) can be read and written, individual bits can not Example: SRAM array with 16 bit data units:

9 Storing data in DRAM Computer Architecture Gábor Horváth, BME-HIT 9

10 Storing a single bit in DRAM A DRAM cell consists of a capacitor and a transistor The capacitor stores the data: There is charge: bit 1 No charge: bit 0 WL transistor capacitor BL WL = word line: selects the memory cell for operation BL = bit line: reflects the stored bit once the cell is selected It does forget the data with time! (The charge escapes) Periodical refresh is necessary Computer Architecture Gábor Horváth, BME-HIT 10

11 11 Storing a single bit in DRAM Reading the value of the bit: The BL is precharged exactly to the middle between logical high and low A logical high value is given to the WL The switch represented by the transistor get closed Selects the cell The charge of the capacitor (if any) leaves towards the BL The sense amplifiers detects the level of BL...providing the bit stored in the cell Reading the bit is destructive! The charge representing the bit leaves WL transistor capacitor BL

12 12 Storing a single bit in DRAM Writing the value of the bit: The BL is set according to the bit to store A logical high value is given to the WL The switch represented by the transistor gets closed Selects the cell The charge of BL charges the capacitor WL transistor capacitor BL

13 13 SRAM vs. DRAM Cost: SRAM: 6 transistors vs DRAM: 1 transistor + 1 capacitor The DRAM is much cheaper, and higher capacity can be achieved Speed: SRAM: Reading out the bit means detecting the state of a flip-flop (1-2 ns) DRAM: Reading out the bit means detecting the extremely small charge stored in the capacitor (10-20 ns) Reading out a bit from an SRAM is much faster Integration: SRAM can be integrated with the CPU as they share the same manufacturing process DRAM is produed by a different manufacturing process Applications: SRAM: cache memory DRAM: system memory

14 DRAM based memory systems Computer Architecture Gábor Horváth, BME-HIT 14

15 15 Memory arrays Goal: arrange memory cells on a 2 dimensional grid The position of one bit is given by the row and the column number The row address selects all memory cells belonging to that row, that is called a page The column address selects the proper data unit in a page

16 Basic operation Reading/Writing: The row address is given to the address bus The RAS (Row Address Strobe) line is activated The given row (page) is selected: the page is open The content of the entire page appears at the sense amplifiers The column address is given to the address bus The CAS (Column Address Strobe) line is activated Selects a data unit from the currently open page for reading or writing The WE (Write Enable) signal is active: The data bus is sampled and the selected data unit is modified The OE (Output Enable) signal is active: The selected data unit is put onto the data bus The content of the entire page is written back to the memory cells Even at read operations since the reading is destructive in DRAMs Computer Architecture Gábor Horváth, BME-HIT 16

17 17 Basic operation Refresh: The content needs to be refreshed regularly even if no read/write operations happen The refresh is done page-to-page periodically: from the first page to the last one-by-one, then from the first again Who has to do it? Early solutions: the CPU The CPU had a counter which page is to be refreshed next The CPU had a timer that sent the refresh command to the DRAM with the current page address Later: the memory controller did the same task Now: the DRAM chips have the counter They know which page to refresh next, they just need a signal to do the refresh

18 Evolution of the DRAM based memory systems Computer Architecture Gábor Horváth, BME-HIT 18

19 Asynchronous DRAM systems The classical asynchronous DRAM: Each operation looks like: Row address RAS column address CAS data on the data bus Time consuming! Computer Architecture Gábor Horváth, BME-HIT 19

20 20 Asynchronous DRAM systems FPM DRAM (Fast Page Mode DRAM) Allows to read/write several data units within the same page Without addressing the row and giving the RAS signal every time Looking at the DRAM memory array again: After opening a page the entire content is available at the sense amplifiers, so reading several data units from the same column has no additional cost!

21 21 Asynchronous DRAM systems FPM DRAM (Fast Page Mode DRAM) The row is selected (page is opened) only once Several data units are read/written inside the page The RAS signal indicates how long we are using the same row

22 Asynchronous DRAM systems EDO DRAM (Extended Data Out DRAM) While the data of the previous memory operation is read/written, the column address of the next operation is transmitted in parallel A signifficant overlap speedup Computer Architecture Gábor Horváth, BME-HIT 22

23 23 Asynchronous DRAM systems BEDO DRAM (Burst-Mode EDO DRAM) The column address of the next data is not needed Default: the next column address is incremented At each CAS strobe the next data unit is transmitted Works well is data needs to be transmitted in bursts

24 24 Synchronous DRAM systems SDR SDRAM (Synchronous DRAM) have clock signal Any event can occur at the clock signal only Similar to BEDO: An initial row and column address are provided A burst of data is read/written at consecutive clock signals

25 Synchronous DRAM systems Computer Architecture Gábor Horváth, BME-HIT 25

26 26 Synchronous DRAM systems DDR SDRAM (Double Data Rate SDRAM) Doubles the transfer speed of the burst It transmits data at both the rising and the falling edge of the clock DDR-200 memory operates at 100 MHz only! The 200 means that the burst is transmitted as fast as a 200 MHz single data rate SDRAM can transmit Notation of DDR SDRAMs: Let us have a DDR SDRAM operating at 200 MHz having 64 bit data units It is sold as: DDR-400 PC-3200» As this memory transmits bursts at 400 Mega-data units per second» Data units are 8 bytes speed is 3200 MB/s

27 27 Synchronous DRAM systems DDR2 SDRAM Classical DDR: 2 data units / clock (raising and falling edge) DDR2: 4 data units / clock DDR2-800 memory operates at 200 MHz only! The 800 means that the burst is transmitted as fast as a 800 MHz single data rate SDRAM can transmit Notation of DDR2 SDRAMs: Let us have a DDR2 SDRAM operating at 200 MHz having 64 bit data units It is sold as: DDR2-800 PC2-6400» As this memory transmits bursts at 800 Mega-data units per second» Data units are 8 bytes speed is 6400 MB/s

28 28 Synchronous DRAM systems DDR3 SDRAM Classical DDR: 2 data units / clock (raising and falling edge) DDR2: 4 data units / clock DDR3: 8 data units / clock DDR memory operates at 200 MHz only! The 1600 means that the burst is transmitted as fast as a 1600 MHz single data rate SDRAM can transmit Notation of DDR3 SDRAMs: Let us have a DDR3 SDRAM operating at 200 MHz having 64 bit data units It is sold as: DDR PC » As this memory transmits bursts at 1600 Mega-data units per second» Data units are 8 bytes speed is MB/s

29 Synchronous DRAM systems DDR4 SDRAM Still transfers 8 data units/clock (like DDR3) Internal clock rate is increased to improve throughput Computer Architecture Gábor Horváth, BME-HIT 29

30 30 Comparison SDR DDR DDR2 DDR3 DDR4 Internal clock MHz MHz MHz MHz MHz Data/int. clock Throu. MB/s Burst length Voltage 3.3V 2.5V 1.8V 1.5V V

31 31 Synchronous DRAM systems Conclusion Internal clock rate is almost the same in the last years latency is the same (latency: delay between the address and the corresponding data) Data units transfered / clock cycle increased significantly throughput is improving (Throughput: amount of data transmitted / second)

32 Memory modules Computer Architecture Gábor Horváth, BME-HIT 32

33 33 SIMM SIMM: Single In-line Memory Module Have ICs at one side only Used mainly by asynchronous DRAMs

34 34 DIMM DIMM: Dual In-line Memory Module Have ICs on both sides Used mainly by synchronous DRAMs

35 35 SO-DIMM SO-DIMM: (Small-Outline Dual In-line Memory Module) More compact than DIMM Used mainly by laptops

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