SC15 Austin, TX

Energy-Efficient Hybrid DRAM/NVM Main Memory


Student: Ahmad Hassan (Queen's University Belfast)
Advisor: Hans Vandierendonck (Queen's University Belfast)
Abstract: DRAM, the de-facto technology for main memory, consumes significant static energy due to continuous leakage and refresh power. Various byte-addressable non-volatile memory (NVM) technologies promise near-zero static energy and persistence, however they suffer from increased latency and increased dynamic energy. A hybrid main memory, containing both DRAM and NVM components, can provide both low energy and high performance although such organizations require that data is placed in the appropriate component. This paper proposes a user-level software management methodology for a hybrid DRAM/NVM main memory system with an aim to reduce energy. We propose an operating system (OS) and programming interface to place data from within the application. We present a tool to help programmers decide on the placement of application data in hybrid memory. Cycle-accurate simulation of modified applications confirms that our approach is more energy-efficient than state-of-the-art hardware or OS approaches at equivalent performance.

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