SAFARI Live Seminar: Lois Orosa, 10 Feb 2022

Join us for our next SAFARI Live Seminar with Lois Orosa.
Thursday, February 10 at 5:00 pm Zurich time (CET)

Lois Orosa, SAFARI Research Group, ETH Zurich
CODIC: A Low-Cost Substrate for Enabling Custom In-DRAM Functionalities and Optimizations

Livestream on YouTube Link

DRAM is the dominant main memory technology used in modern computing systems. Computing systems implement a memory controller that interfaces with DRAM via DRAM commands. DRAM executes the given commands using internal components (e.g., access transistors, sense amplifiers) that are orchestrated by DRAM internal timings, which are fixed for each DRAM command. Unfortunately, the use of fixed internal timings limits the types of operations that DRAM can perform and hinders the implementation of new functionalities and custom mechanisms that improve DRAM reliability, performance and energy. To overcome these limitations, we propose enabling programmable DRAM internal timings for controlling in-DRAM components. 

To this end, we design CODIC, a new low-cost DRAM substrate that enables fine-grained control over four previously fixed internal DRAM timings that are key to many DRAM operations. We implement CODIC with only minimal changes to the DRAM chip and the DDRx interface. To demonstrate the potential of CODIC, we propose two new CODIC-based security mechanisms that outperform state-of-the-art mechanisms in several ways: (1) a new DRAM Physical Unclonable Function (PUF) that is more robust and has significantly higher throughput than state-of-the-art DRAM PUFs, and (2) the first cold boot attack prevention mechanism that does not introduce any performance or energy overheads at runtime

Speaker Bio:
Lois Orosa is a senior researcher at SAFARI Research group @ ETH Zürich, Switzerland. He received his BS and MS degrees in Telecommunication Engineering from the University of Vigo, Spain, his PhD degree from the University of Santiago de Compostela, Spain, and he held a postDoc position in the University of Campinas, Brazil. He was a visiting researcher at multiple companies (IBM, Recore Systems, Xilinx and Huawei) and universities (UIUC and Universidade Nova de Lisboa). His current research interests are in computer architecture, hardware security, reliability, memory systems, and machine learning (ML) accelerators. For more information, please see his webpage at

Lois Orosa, Yaohua Wang, Mohammad Sadrosadati, Jeremie S. Kim, Minesh Patel, Ivan Puddu, Haocong Luo, Kaveh Razavi, Juan Gomez-Luna, Hasan Hassan, Nika Mansouri-Ghiasi, Saugata Ghose, and Onur Mutlu,
“CODIC: A Low-Cost Substrate for Enabling Custom In-DRAM Functionalities and Optimizations” Proceedings of the 48th International Symposium on Computer Architecture (ISCA), Virtual, June 2021.
[Slides (pptx) (pdf)]
[Short Talk Slides (pptx) (pdf)]
[Talk Video (22 minutes)]

Related talks: 

D-RaNGe: True Random Number Generation with Commodity DRAM
[Talk Video]

DRAM Latency PUFs (Physical Unclonable Functions)
[Talk Video]

QUAC-TRNG: High-Throughput True Random Number Generation Using Quadruple Row Activation in Commodity DRAM Chips
[Talk Video]




Posted in Papers, Seminar, Talks, Video.