Founded in 1966

Departmental Colloquium

Stay Spinning, Stay Cool!

Yiran Chen, Assistant Professor

Department of Electrical & Computer Engineering, University of Pittsburgh

Tuesday April 17, 2012
12:00 pm - Sennott Square - Seminar Room 5317

Pizza will be served at 11:45 am

Hosted by Sangyeun Cho


Everybody knows Moore's Law: the device density in semiconductor chip doubles every 18 months. But very few people realize there was another industry used to have a faster pace than that -- Hard Disk Drive (HDD). The continuously increased technical challenges for the scaling of mainstream memory technologies inspired the tremendous investment on the next-generation nonvolatile memory technologies. As one of the most promising candidates, spin-transfer torque random access memory (STT-RAM), which is inspired by the magnetic head technology in HDD, features many attractive characteristics such as non-volatility, high cell density, nanosecond access time and low operating voltage etc. This presentation will start with the general introduction on STT-RAM technology. After that, we will discuss some interesting properties of STT-RAM designs, including the reliability and asymmetry of read and write operations, the data-pattern dependent writability, the tradeoff between non-volatility and memory robustness, and the scaling trend etc. Some spin-based circuit designs, applications, and statistical STT-RAM models for architecture-level research will be also presented at the end of our talk. We hope the presentation can offer the audiences a comprehensive review on the basics of STT-RAM and the relevant state-of-the-art research.

Biography of Speaker

Yiran Chen received B.S. and M.S. (both with honors) in EE from Tsinghua University, China and Ph.D. in ECE from Purdue University, W. Lafayette, IN. Before he joined University of Pittsburgh in 2010, he worked with Synopsys and Seagate for 5 years. Dr. Chen's research interests include VLSI design, nano-electronic devices and embedded systems. He has published more than 90 technical publications, has 53 granted US patents and other 23 pending applications. He coauthored one book -- "Nonvolatile Memory Design: Magnetic, Resistive, and Phase Changing", as well as other several book chapters. He is the associate editor of TCAD and the editor of JCIT. He served as technical and organizational committees of many conferences, including DAC, ICCAD, DATE, ASP-DAC, ISLPED, FPT, ISCAS, CODES+ISSS, etc. During 2007-2010, he served as the patent review board member of Seagate memory product group. As a key developer of PrimeTimeVX, Dr. Chen received "The hot 100 products of 2006" from EDN, "EDN 100 Hot Products Distinction" from Synopsys and the finalist of "Prestigious 2007 DesignVision Awards" from IEC. His works also received two best paper awards from ISQED 2008 and ISLPED 2010, respectively, and were nominated as the best paper candidates in ISQED, DATE, and ASPDAC etc. for multiple times. He is the inventor of "Spintronic Memristor".

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