Exploring the Use of Volatile STT-RAM for Energy Efficient Video Processing

Hengyu Zhao1, Hongbin Sun1, Qiang Yang2, Tai Min1, Nanning Zheng1
1Xi'an Jiaotong University, 2Changhong Electric Co., Ltd


This paper explores the efficient use of STT-RAM in video processing system by choosing display processing as a case study. Through architectural analysis, we demonstrate that volatile STT-RAM rather than non-volatile STT-RAM is more appropriate for video processing system, as video data is mostly processed in streaming-style and relaxing the retention time can significantly reduce the write latency and energy of STT-RAM. Moreover, the error resilience of video display processing system is also evaluated to address the potential bit error rate increase when we relaxing the retention time of STT-RAM cells. Simulation results demonstrate that, the use of volatile STT-RAM and extra design techniques can significantly reduce the overall memory energy consumption to 38.24% with respect to that of baseline SRAM architecture, and video display processing system can tolerate up to 1×10^(−5) bit error rate without any visible image quality degradation.