Queuing-Based eDRAM Refreshing for Ultra-Low Power Processors

Binyamin Frankel, Roi Herman, Shmuel Wimer

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


Ultra-low power processors designed to work at very low voltage are the enablers of the internet of things (IoT) era. Their internal memories, which are usually implemented by a static random access memory (SRAM) technology, stop functioning properly at low voltage. Some recent commercial products have replaced SRAM with embedded memory (eDRAM), in which stored data are destroyed over time, thus requiring periodic refreshing that causes performance loss. This article presents a queuing-based opportunistic refreshing algorithm that eliminates most if not all of the performance loss and is shown to be optimal. The queues used for refreshing miss refreshing opportunities not only when they are saturated but also when they are empty, hence increasing the probability of performance loss. We examine the optimal policy for handling a saturated and empty queue, and the ways in which system performance depends on queue capacity and memory size. This analysis results in a closed-form performance expression capturing read/write probabilities, memory size and queue capacity leading to CPU-internal memory architecture optimization.

Original languageEnglish
Article number8310027
Pages (from-to)1331-1340
Number of pages10
JournalIEEE Transactions on Computers
Issue number9
StatePublished - 1 Sep 2018

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2012 IEEE.


  • Embedded cache memories
  • finite capacity queue
  • queuing
  • refreshing


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