Ashleigh Crawford & Maria Lancia

Students: Ashleigh Crawford & Maria Lancia

Project: A Low-Cost, Point-of-Care Sickle Cell Anemia Screening Device for Use in Low Income and Middle Income Countries

View: Research Poster (PDF)

Institution: Lehigh University

Major: Bioengineering

Advisor: Xuanhong Cheng


As Dynamic Random Access Memory (DRAM) is reaching its limit due to scaling issues, there is a need for possible memory alternatives. Phase Change Memory (PCM) is a non-volatile memory that can be a viable alternative. The write endurance and low energy consumption make it a promising candidate over DRAM. However, similar to DRAM, PCM encounters errors that need to be addressed to ensure the same level of reliability as DRAM. Although PCM is not as prone to alpha particle strikes as DRAM is, PCM has other types of errors such as stuck-at fault and thermal crosstalk-induced soft errors. 
In this paper, we investigate both soft and hard error rates for PCM. As we continue to scale PCM and minimize the area below 20nm, thermal crosstalk becomes more crucial as a source of
error for both Single-Level Cell (SLC) and Multi-Level Cell (MLC) PCM. We focused our attention on read errors, resistance drifting errors, and thermal crosstalk for soft errors and stuck- at-fault for hard errors. For each type of error, we built an error model. In the end, we combine all types of errors into one comprehensive error model that shows failure over time. With this model, the strength of the error-correcting code (ECC) can be better determined for the best reliability while minimizing storage overhead.

About Ashleigh Crawford

Ashleigh Crawford is a senior Bioengineering major with a concentration in Biopharmaceutical Engineering. She is a Clare Boothe Luce Research Scholar in Dr. Xuanhong Cheng’s lab. Ashleigh has been involved with the sickle cell diagnostics project since its onset in August 2018. Through this project, she hopes to make sickle cell diagnosis a global possibility so that those affected can receive treatment and be education on symptom management strategies. In addition, Ashleigh works on a microfluidic device for exosome and mitochondrial separation. This project aims to improve separation of these species in biological samples for improved atomic force microscopy of mitochondrial morphology for diagnostic purposes. Ashleigh presented this research at the 4th Bioengineering & Translational Medicine Conference and at the 2019 BMES Annual Meeting. Outside of academics, Ashleigh is a member of Lehigh’s Cross Country and Track & Field teams, where she specializes in the 3000m Steeplechase.

About Maria Lancia

Maria Lancia is a junior majoring in Bioengineering with a concentration in Biopharmaceutical Engineering. She is a Global Social Impact Fellow which led to her involvement with the sickle cell diagnostics project, starting in January 2019. Maria traveled to Sierra Leone in the summer of 2019 to form relationships with key partners for development and implementation of the device in the future. With the development of this low cost device, Maria hopes sickle cell disease will no longer be neglected in low and middle income countries due to the current cost of diagnosing individuals. She has presented this research at the IEEE Global Humanitarian Technology Conference. Maria is also part of the Martindale Student Associates Honors Program, Argentina cohort 2020, and the Global Entrepreneurial Fellowship, India cohort summer 2020. Outside of academics, Maria is a member of the Marching ‘97, she plays the alto saxophone.