Edmund J. Gieske - Cedar Park TX,
David F. Greenberg - Austin TX,
714 23, 714763, 714E11034
A mechanism is provided for detecting and correcting a first number of bit errors in a segment of data stored in a memory region being read, while concurrently detecting the presence of higher numbers of bit errors in that segment of data. In the event of detection of a higher number of bit errors in any single segment of data of the memory region, error correction of that higher number of bit errors is performed on the memory region, while concurrently detecting the presence of an even higher level of bit errors. By performing error correction of higher levels of bit errors in such a hierarchical order, memory latency associated with such error correction can be avoided in the majority of data accesses, thereby improving performance of the data access.