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Integrated Thermal Sensor in the ECC Device

IP.com Disclosure Number: IPCOM000009608D
Publication Date: 2002-Sep-04
Document File: 6 page(s) / 113K

Publishing Venue

The IP.com Prior Art Database

Abstract

Disclosed is a method that uses an integrated thermal sensor to determine when throttling is required to prevent thermal damage to the memory module. Benefits include higher performance by allowing more aggressive maximum bandwidth targets.

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Integrated Thermal Sensor in the ECC Device

Disclosed is a method that uses an integrated thermal sensor to determine when throttling is required to prevent thermal damage to the memory module. Benefits include higher performance by allowing more aggressive maximum bandwidth targets.

Background

Signaling at maximum transfer rates for an extended period of time can overheat the DRAM components on the memory module. Factors that can affect DRAM thermals are ambient temperature, active cooling, airflow, DRAM package, activity level, process, and operational voltage. Typically, short bursts of high DRAM activity are acceptable, but can cause damage if the high activity level is sustained over longer periods of time. Ideally, the memory subsystem should run with no limitation to data transfer rates, except in cases when thermal damage may occur.�

Today’s systems do not implement thermal sensors on the modules. Instead, the memory controller in the chipset monitors the activity on the bus, and throttles memory bandwidth when there is excess activity on the bus. This method is inadequate because it does not respond to ambient temperature, active cooling, process, operational voltage etc.

General Description

Two different types of memory modules are illustrated. Figure 1 shows a 72-bit wide memory module that uses eight x8 wide memory devices and one x8 wide ECC device. Figure 2 shows a 72-bit wide memory module that uses four x16 wide memory devices and one x8 wide ECC device.� For both types, the thermal sensor and control logic are integrated in the ECC device, and the thermal overload response logic is built into the memory controller.

The access pattern to the ECC device is representative of the access pattern to the corresponding DRAMs on the memory module.� ECC is computed based on the data written to the DRAMs on the m...