A new memory-disk integrated system with HW optimizer

Do Heon Lee, Su Kyung Yoon, Jung Geun Kim, Charles C. Weems, Shin Dug Kim

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Citations (Scopus)


Current high-performance computer systems utilize a memory hierarchy of on-chip cache, main memory, and secondary storage due to differences in device characteristics. Limiting the amount of main memory causes page swap operations and duplicates data between the main memory and the storage device. The characteristics of next-generation memory, such as nonvolatility, byte addressability, and scaling to greater capacity, can be used to solve these problems. Simple replacement of secondary storage with new forms of nonvolatile memory in a traditional memory hierarchy still causes typical problems, such as memory bottleneck, page swaps, and write overhead. Thus, we suggest a single architecture that merges the main memory and secondary storage into a system called a Memory-Disk Integrated System (MDIS). The MDIS architecture is composed of a virtually decoupled NVRAM and a nonvolatile memory performance optimizer combining hardware and software to support this system. The virtually decoupled NVRAM module can support conventional main memory and disk storage operations logically without data duplication and can reduce write operations to the NVRAM. To increase the lifetime and optimize the performance of this NVRAM, another hardware module called a Nonvolatile Performance Optimizer (NVPO) is used that is composed of four small buffers. The NVPO exploits spatial and temporal characteristics of static/dynamic data based on program execution characteristics. Enhanced virtual memory management and address translation modules in the operating system can support these hardware components to achieve a seamless memory-storage environment. Our experimental results show that the proposed architecture can improve execution time by about 89% over a conventional DRAM main memory/HDD storage system, and 77% over a state-of-the-art PRAM main memory/HDD disk system with DRAM buffer. Also, the lifetime of the virtually decoupled NVRAM is estimated to be 40% longer than that of a traditional hierarchy based on the same device technology.

Original languageEnglish
Article number11
JournalACM Transactions on Architecture and Code Optimization
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2015 May 1

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2015 ACM 1544-3566/2015/05-ART11 15.00.

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Software
  • Information Systems
  • Hardware and Architecture


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