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Université d’Aix Marseille, CNRS and STMicroelectronics Assigned Patent

Self-referenced and regulated sensing solution for phase change memory with ovonic threshold switch

Université d‘Aix Marseille, Marseille, France, Centre National De La Recherche Scientifique (CNRS), Paris, France, STMicroelectronics (Crolles 2) SAS, Crolles, France, and STMicroelectronics (Rousset) SAS, Rousset, France, has been assigned a patent (11875847) developed by Portal, Jean-Michel, Saint-Savournin, France, Della Marca, Vincenzo, Walder, Jean-Pierre, Marseille, France, Gasquez, Julien, Echirolles, France, and Boivin, Philippe, Venelles, France, for self-referenced and regulated sensing solution for phase change memory with ovonic threshold switch.

The abstract of the patent published by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office states: “Memory devices such as phase change memory (PCM) devices utilizing Ovonic Threshold Switching (OTS) selectors may be used to fill the gap between dynamic random-access memory (DRAM) and mass storage and may be incorporated in high-end microcontrollers. Since the programming efficiency and reading phase efficiency of such devices is directly linked to the leakage current of the OTS selector as well as sneak-path management, a sense amplifier disclosed herein generates an auto-reference that takes into account the leakage currents of unselected cells and includes a regulation loop to compensate for voltage drop due to read current sensing. This auto-referenced sense amplifier, built utilizing the principle of charge-sharing, may be designed on a 28 nm fully depleted silicon-on-insulator (FDSOI) technology, provides robust performance for a wide range of sneak-path currents and consequently for a large range of memory array sizes, and is therefore suitable for use in embedded memory in high-end microcontroller.

The patent application was filed on 2022-02-16 (17/673550).