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Using PCM in next-generation embedded space applications

Ferreira, AP and Childers, B and Melhem, R and Mossé, D and Yousif, M (2010) Using PCM in next-generation embedded space applications. In: UNSPECIFIED UNSPECIFIED, 153 - 162. ISBN 9780769540016

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Dynamic RAM (DRAM) has been the best technology for main memory for over thirty years. In embedded space applications, radiation hardened DRAM is needed because gamma rays cause transient errors; such rad-hard memories are extremely expensive and power hungry, leading to lower life (or increased battery weight) for satellite and other devices operating in space. Despite these problems, DRAM has been the technology of choice because it has better performance and it scales well. New, more energy efficient, non-volatile, scalable, radiation resistant memory technologies are now available, namely phase-change memory (PCM), making the DRAM choice much less compelling. However, current approaches require changes to PCM device internal circuity, the operating system and/or the CPU cache-memory organization/interface. This paper presents a new, practical, detailed architecture, called PMMA, to effectively use PCM for main memory in next-generation embedded space systems. We designed PMMA avoiding changes to commodity PCM devices, the operating system, and the existing CPU cache-memory interface, enabling plug-in replacement of a conventional DRAM main memory by one constructed with PMMA. Our architecture incorporates novel mechanisms to address PCM's limitations including expensive write operations, asymmetric read/write latency, and limited endurance. In our evaluation we show that PMMA achieves a 60% improvement in energy-delay over a conventional DRAM main memory. © 2010 IEEE.


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Item Type: Book Section
Status: Published
CreatorsEmailPitt UsernameORCID
Ferreira, AP
Childers, Bchilders@pitt.eduCHILDERS
Melhem, Rmelhem@cs.pitt.eduMELHEM
Mossé, D
Yousif, M
Date: 28 June 2010
Date Type: Publication
Access Restriction: No restriction; Release the ETD for access worldwide immediately.
Journal or Publication Title: Real-Time Technology and Applications - Proceedings
Page Range: 153 - 162
Event Type: Conference
DOI or Unique Handle: 10.1109/rtas.2010.40
Institution: University of Pittsburgh
Schools and Programs: Dietrich School of Arts and Sciences > Computer Science
Refereed: Yes
ISBN: 9780769540016
ISSN: 1080-1812
Date Deposited: 12 Nov 2012 15:42
Last Modified: 31 Jul 2020 18:07


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