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"Method and Apparatus for Simultaneously Accessing a Plurality of Memory Cells in a Memory Array to Perform a Read Operation And/Or a Write...

August 12, 2014



"Method and Apparatus for Simultaneously Accessing a Plurality of Memory Cells in a Memory Array to Perform a Read Operation And/Or a Write Operation" in Patent Application Approval Process

By a News Reporter-Staff News Editor at Information Technology Newsweekly -- A patent application by the inventors Sutardja, Pantas (Los Gatos, CA); Lee, Winston (Palo Alto, CA), filed on March 24, 2014, was made available online on July 31, 2014, according to news reporting originating from Washington, D.C., by VerticalNews correspondents.

This patent application is assigned to ; Marvell World Trade Ltd.

The following quote was obtained by the news editors from the background information supplied by the inventors: "The background description provided herein is for the purpose of generally presenting the context of the disclosure. Work of the presently named inventors, to the extent the work is described in this background section, as well as aspects of the description that may not otherwise qualify as prior art at the time of filing, are neither expressly nor impliedly admitted as prior art against the present disclosure.

"Memory devices include an array of memory cells that store information. Memory devices may be volatile or non-volatile. Non-volatile memory devices can retain stored information even when not powered, whereas volatile memory devices typically do not retain stored information when not powered. Examples of memory devices include read-only memory (ROM), random access memory (RAM) and flash memory.

"FIG. 1 illustrates a conventional memory system 100. The memory system 100 includes an array 102 of memory cells 104-1,1, 104-1,2 . . . , and 104-M,N (referred to herein as memory cells 104), a word line decoder 106, word line drivers 108, a bit line decoder 109, and sense amplifiers 110. The word line decoder 106 may select one of M rows of memory cells 104 for reading and writing operations via word lines 112-1, 112-2, . . . , and 112-M (referred to herein as word lines 112). The word line drivers 108 may apply a voltage to the selected word line 112 to activate the memory cells 104 in communication with the selected word line 112. The sense amplifiers 110 may detect the presence or absence of data stored in the memory cells 104 via global bit lines 114-1, 114-2, . . . , and 114-N (referred to herein as global bit lines 114). The bit line decoder 109 may select one of N columns of memory cells 104 for reading and writing operations via the global bit lines 114.

"Each of the memory cells 104 may include diodes 105-1,1, 105-1,2 . . . , and 105-M,N (referred to herein as diodes 105) and a data storage element 107-1,1, . . . , and 107-M,N (referred to herein as data storage element 107). Alternatively, each of the memory cells 104 may include transistors (not shown) and a data storage element 107. Each diode 105 may communicate with a corresponding word line 112 and a corresponding data storage element 107. Other configurations are possible for the memory cells 104.

"Referring now to FIGS. 2A-2B, the array 102 of memory cells 104 may be arranged in blocks 116-1, 116-2, . . . , and 116-0 (referred to herein as blocks 116). A block 116 may include local word lines 118-1,1, 118-2,1, . . . , and 118-V,Q (referred to herein as local word lines 118) and local bit lines 120-1,1,1, 120-2,1,1, . . . , and 120-W,L,Q (referred to herein as local bit lines 120). Memory cells 104 may be formed at the intersection of the local word lines 118 and the local bit lines 120. The local word lines 118 may communicate with respective word line decoders 106-1, 106-2, . . . , and 106-Q (referred to herein as word line decoders 106) and word line drivers 108-1, 108-2, . . . , and 108-Q (referred to herein as word line drivers 108).

"The local bit lines 120 may be arranged in groups. A group of local bit lines 120 may communicate with multiplexers 122-1,1, 122-2,1, . . . , and 122-L,Q (referred to herein as multiplexers 122). Each multiplexer 122 may include a control input 123 that selectively controls which input to the multiplexer will be output from the multiplexer. A read/write (R/W) control module (not shown) may provide the control inputs. A block 116 may communicate with L multiplexers 122, which may select respective local bit lines 120 for reading and writing operations. The multiplexers 122 may communicate with respective global bit lines 114. The global bit lines 114 may communicate with each block 116 in the memory array 102. Bit line decoders 109 and sense amplifiers 110 (shown in FIG. 1) may communicate with the global bit lines 114.

"The memory system 100 may include a read/write (R/W) control module (mentioned above). The R/W control module may control R/W operations of the memory cells 104 via the word line decoder 106, the word line drivers 108, the bit line decoder 109, and the sense amplifiers 110. The R/W control module may execute a read cycle to access data stored in one or more data storage elements 107 of the memory cells 104. The R/W control module may also execute a write cycle to store data in one or more data storage elements 107 of the memory cells 104. During each read and write cycle, the R/W control module may access a given memory cell 104 by applying a voltage to a local word line 118 of a block 116 in the memory array 102. During a read cycle, the sense amplifiers 110 may detect the presence or absence of data in a given data storage element 107 of a memory cell 104 in communication with a local word line 118. During a write cycle, the bit line decoders 109 may select a given memory cell 104 for storing data.

"For example, as shown in FIG. 2B, local word line 118-1,Q is active. In other words, the word line driver 108-Q may apply a voltage to local word line 118-1,Q. Multiplexers 122-1,Q, 122-2,Q . . . , and 122-L,Q may select local bit lines 120-1,1,Q, 120-1,2,Q . . . , and 120-1,L,Q for reading and writing operations. Thus, memory cells 104-1,1, 104-1,2, . . . , and 104-1,L may be conducting. To read data, the sense amplifiers 110 may detect the presence or absence of data in the memory cells 104 in communication with the selected local word line 118 and the selected local bit lines 120. In the configuration shown in FIG. 2B, L memory cells 104 may be read during a read cycle. To write data, the bit line decoder 109 may select memory cells 104 for storing data via global bit lines 114 and multiplexers 122."

In addition to the background information obtained for this patent application, VerticalNews journalists also obtained the inventors' summary information for this patent application: "In general, in one aspect, the present disclosure describes a memory system including a memory array, and a read write/module. The memory includes a plurality of bit lines, a plurality of word lines, and a plurality of memory cells, in which each memory cell is formed at a corresponding intersection of a bit line and a word line in the memory array. The read/write module is configured to control activation of at least two memory cells in the memory array during a read operation or a write operation, wherein the at least two memory cells activated by the read/write module are located on a different word line and a different bit line in the memory array, and wherein each memory cell coupled to a same bit line of the plurality of bit lines is configured to be written to or read from based on selection of the bit line.

"Further areas of applicability of the present disclosure will become apparent from the detailed description, the claims and the drawings. It should be understood that the detailed description and specific examples are intended for purposes of illustration only and are not intended to limit the scope of the disclosure.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF DRAWINGS

"The present disclosure will become more fully understood from the detailed description and the accompanying drawings, wherein:

"FIG. 1 is a schematic representation of a memory system according to the prior art;

"FIG. 2A is a schematic representation of a memory system according to the prior art;

"FIG. 2B is a schematic representation of a memory system according to the prior art;

"FIG. 3 is a block diagram of a memory system according to the present disclosure;

"FIG. 4 is a schematic representation of a memory system according to the present disclosure;

"FIG. 5A is a schematic representation of a portion of a memory system according to the present disclosure;

"FIG. 5B is a schematic representation of a portion of a memory system according to the present disclosure;

"FIG. 6A is a schematic representation of a portion of a memory system according to the present disclosure;

"FIG. 6B is a schematic representation of a switch module according to the present disclosure;

"FIG. 6C is a schematic representation of a portion of a memory system according to the present disclosure; and

"FIG. 7 is a schematic representation of a portion of a memory system according to the present disclosure."

URL and more information on this patent application, see: Sutardja, Pantas; Lee, Winston. Method and Apparatus for Simultaneously Accessing a Plurality of Memory Cells in a Memory Array to Perform a Read Operation And/Or a Write Operation. Filed March 24, 2014 and posted July 31, 2014. Patent URL: http://appft.uspto.gov/netacgi/nph-Parser?Sect1=PTO2&Sect2=HITOFF&u=%2Fnetahtml%2FPTO%2Fsearch-adv.html&r=3793&p=76&f=G&l=50&d=PG01&S1=20140724.PD.&OS=PD/20140724&RS=PD/20140724

Keywords for this news article include: Patents, Information Technology, Information and Data Storage.

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Source: Information Technology Newsweekly


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