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Hybrid Volatile Nonvolatile Integrated Memory Arrays

IP.com Disclosure Number: IPCOM000084300D
Original Publication Date: 1975-Oct-01
Included in the Prior Art Database: 2005-Mar-02
Document File: 3 page(s) / 36K

Publishing Venue

IBM

Related People

Sullivan, TM: AUTHOR

Abstract

Integrated circuit volatile memory arrays consisting of integrated circuit electronic flip-flop cells have the advantages of high speed, low cost and high-packaging density, but the disadvantages of power dependence on volatility.

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Hybrid Volatile Nonvolatile Integrated Memory Arrays

Integrated circuit volatile memory arrays consisting of integrated circuit electronic flip-flop cells have the advantages of high speed, low cost and high- packaging density, but the disadvantages of power dependence on volatility.

The usual practice in respect to such arrays is to back up the stored information at discrete processing check points, in anticipation of the need to reestablish storage status should a power failure or other transient error occur. Such back up, however, consumes valuable processing time and permits recovery only at a sequence point or phase, such that many cycles of operation must be repeated before the system reaches the sequence phase at which the power failure or other error occurred.

The illustrated hybrid volatile/nonvolatile arrangement is a possible solution. The volatile power dependent memory cells are integrated with nonvolatile power independent memory cells, operative to be able to preserve the last meaningful states of respective volatile cells preceding a power transient or other system failure. Each pair of volatile and nonvolatile cells interacts to provide timely preservation of memory status.

The structure of one hybrid pair is illustrated schematically. The volatile cell portion denoted FF includes a conventional set/reset flip-flop having set input s, reset input r, and complementary outputs Q and Q which provide signals representing the set and reset conditions of the respective cell.

Connected across the Q and Q outputs of the volatile cell FF is a respective nonvolatile cell, which contains a ferroelectric capacitance or dielectric element fc in series with a gating or switching transistor element T; the latter conditioned to conduction or nonconduction status by s...