This paper proposes the virtual-socket architecture in order to reduce the design turn-around time (TAT) of the embedded DRAM. The required memory density and the function of the embedded DRAM are system dependent. In the conventional design, the DRAM control circuitry with the DRAM memory array is handled as a hardware macro, resulting in the increase in design TAT. On the other hand, our proposed architecture provides the DRAM control circuitry as a software macro to take advantage of the automated tools based on synchronous circuit design. With array-generator technology, this architecture can achieve high quality and quick turn-around time (QTAT) of flexible embedded DRAM that is almost the same as the CMOS ASIC. We applied this virtual-socket architecture to the development of the 64-Mb synchronous DRAM core using 0.18-μm design rule and confirmed the high-speed operation, 166 MHz at CAS latency of two, and 180 MHz at that of three. The experimental results show that our proposed architecture can be applied to the development of the high-performance embedded DRAM with design QTAT.
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