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On-chip error correcting techniques for new-generation flash memories

By: Torelli, G.; Khouri, O.; Cabrini, A.; Gregori, S.;

2003 / IEEE


This item was taken from the IEEE Periodical ' On-chip error correcting techniques for new-generation flash memories ' In new-generation flash memories, issues such as disturbs and data retention become more and more critical as a consequence of reduced cell size and decreased oxide thickness. Furthermore, the progressive increase in the cell count within a single die tends to decrease device reliability. In particular, reliability issues turn out to be more critical in multilevel (ML) flash memories, due to the reduced spacing between adjacent programmed levels. It is therefore deemed that the use of on-chip error correction codes (ECCs) will gain widespread acceptance in large-capacity flash memories. ECCs for flash memories must have very fast and compact encoding/decoding circuitry so as to have a minimum impact on memory access time. The area penalty due to check cells must also be minimized. Moreover, specific codes must be developed for ML storage. This paper presents error control coding techniques and schemes for new-generation flash memories, focusing on ML devices. The basic concepts of error control coding are reviewed, and the on-chip ECC design procedure is analyzed. Dedicated codes such as polyvalent ECCs, able to correct data stored in ML memories working at a variable number of bits per cell, and bit-layer organized ECCs are described.