Imbalance-Tolerant Bit-Line Sense Amplifier for Dummy-Less Open Bit-Line Scheme in DRAM

Suk Min Kim, Byungkyu Song, Seong Ook Jung

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)


In a conventional open bit-line scheme of DRAM, the edge subarrays (MATs) located at both ends of the cell array block contain alternated real and dummy bit-lines, unavoidably leading to an additional area overhead. To reduce the area overhead, one edge MAT can be eliminated by converting the dummy bit-lines of the other edge MAT into real bit-lines. This strategy causes the conventional bit-line sense amplifiers (BLSAs) in the MATs located at both ends of the cell array block to have a much smaller complementary bit-line capacitance than a true bit-line capacitance. Thus, the sensing operation of a conventional BLSA with this unbalanced bit-line capacitance experiences various problems: sensing voltage decrease, data flipping, and asymmetric equalization. To solve these problems, we propose a novel sensing circuit that can operate effectively even under unbalanced bit-line capacitance, thus suggesting the possibility of an open bit-line scheme without dummy bit-lines. Our proposed dummy-less open bit-line scheme can save approximately 4% of the array height. Compared with the conventional unbalanced BLSA, the proposed BLSA increases the sensing voltage by more than 100%, reduces the voltage peaks by 30% during the data transfer, and reduces equalization time by 1.2 ns in HSPICE Monte Carlo simulation.

Original languageEnglish
Article number9374751
Pages (from-to)2546-2554
Number of pages9
JournalIEEE Transactions on Circuits and Systems I: Regular Papers
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 2021 Jun

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2004-2012 IEEE.

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


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