A Nonvolatile Compute-in-Memory Macro Using Voltage-Controlled MRAM and In Situ Magnetic-to-Digital Converter

Vinod Kurian Jacob, Jiyue Yang, Haoran He, Puneet Gupta, Kang L. Wang, Sudhakar Pamarti

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)


Compute-in-memory (CIM) accelerator has become a popular solution to achieve high energy efficiency for deep learning applications in edge devices. Recent works have demonstrated CIM macros using nonvolatile memories [spin transfer torque (STT)-MRAM and resistive random access memory (RRAM)] to take advantages of their nonvolatility and high density. However, effective computation dynamic range is far lower than their static random access memory (SRAM)-CIM counterparts due to low device ON/ OFF ratio. In this work, we combine a nonvolatile memory based on a voltage-controlled magnetic tunneling junction (VC-MTJ) device, called voltage-controlled MRAM or VC-MRAM, and accurate switched-capacitor-based CIM using a novel in situ magnetic-to-digital converter (MDC). The VC-MTJ device has demonstrated 10× lower write energy and switching time compared to STT-MRAM device and has comparable density, read energy, and read latency. The in situ MDCs embedded inside each VC-MRAM row convert magnetically stored weight information to CMOS logic levels and enable switched-capacitor-based multiply-accumulate (MAC) operation with accuracy comparable to the state-of-the-art SRAM-CIM. This article describes the schematic and layout level design of a VC-MRAM CIM macro in 28 nm. This is the first nonvolatile CIM design to enable analog MAC computation with 256 parallel rows turned ON simultaneously without degradation in dynamic range (< 1 LSB). Detailed circuit simulations including experimentally validated VC-MTJ compact models show 1.5× higher energy efficiency and 2× higher density compared to the state-of-the-art SRAM-based CIM.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)56-64
Number of pages9
JournalIEEE Journal on Exploratory Solid-State Computational Devices and Circuits
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2023 Jun 1

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
  • Hardware and Architecture
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


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