Priority based error correction code (ECC) for the embedded SRAM memories in H.264 system

Insoo Lee, Jinmo Kwon, Jongsun Park

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

14 Citations (Scopus)


With aggressive supply voltage scaling, SRAM bit-cell failures in the embedded memory of the H.264 system result in significant degradation to video quality. Error Correction Coding (ECC) has been widely used in the embedded memories in order to correct these failures, however, the conventional ECC approach does not consider the differences in the importance of the data stored in the memory. This paper presents a priority based ECC (PB-ECC) approach, where the more important higher order bits (HOBs) are protected with higher priority than the less important lower order bits (LOBs) since the human visual system is less sensitive to LOB errors. The mathematical analysis regarding the error correction capability of the PB-ECC scheme and its resulting peak signal-to-noise ratio(PSNR) degradation in H.264 system are also presented to help the designers to determine the bit-allocation of the higher and lower priority segments of the embedded memory. We designed and implemented three PB-ECC cases (Hamming only, BCH only, and Hybrid PB-ECC) using 90 nm CMOS technology. With the supply voltage at 900 mV or below, the experiment results delivers up to 6.0 dB PSNR improvement with a smaller circuit area compared to the conventional ECC approach.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)123-136
Number of pages14
JournalJournal of Signal Processing Systems
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2013 Nov

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This work is supported by Basic Science Research Program through the National Research Foundation of Korea (NRF) funded by the Ministry of Education, Science and Technology (2010-0004484).


  • Embedded SRAM
  • Error control code
  • H.264
  • Low voltage operation
  • Multimedia

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Control and Systems Engineering
  • Theoretical Computer Science
  • Signal Processing
  • Information Systems
  • Modelling and Simulation
  • Hardware and Architecture


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