Design and analysis of sense amplifier circuits used in high-performance and low-power SRAMs
Performance and power of sense amplifiers have big implications on the speed of caches used in microprocessors as well as power consumption of IPs in low power system on chips. The speed of voltage sense amplifiers are limited by the differential voltage development time on high capacitance SRAM bit-lines. The dynamic power increases with the differential voltage that needs to be developed on the bit-lines. This report explores multiple sense amplifier techniques - in addition to the conventional voltage sense amplifier, it analyzes current sense amplifier, charge transfer sense amplifier as wells as current latched sense amplifier and compares them in speed, area and power consumption to the voltage sense amplifier. A current sense amplifier operates by sensing the bit cell current directly and shows power and area advantages. A charge transfer sense amplifier makes use of charge redistribution between the high capacitance bit-lines and low capacitance sense amplifier output nodes to provide power benefits. This report also explores the design of a six transistor SRAM bit cell. All circuits are designed and simulated on a 45nm CMOS process.