Energy vs. Reliability Trade-offs Exploration in Biomedical Ultra-Low Power Devices
State-of-the-art wearable devices such as embedded biomedical monitoring systems apply voltage scaling to lower as much as possible their energy consumption and achieve longer battery lifetimes. While embedded memories often rely on Error Correction Codes (ECC) for error protection, in this paper we explore how the characteristics of biomedical applications can be exploited to develop new techniques with lower power overhead. We then introduce the Dynamic eRror compEnsation And Masking (DREAM) technique, that provides partial memory protection with less area and power overheads than ECC. Different tradeoffs between the error correction ability of the techniques and their energy consumption are examined to conclude that, when properly applied, DREAM consumes 21% less energy than a traditional ECC with Single Error Correction and Double Error Detection (SEC/DED) capabilities.