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Collaborative Hardware-Software Management of Hybrid Main Memory

Bock, Santiago (2018) Collaborative Hardware-Software Management of Hybrid Main Memory. Doctoral Dissertation, University of Pittsburgh. (Unpublished)

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DRAM has long been the preferred technology choice for main
memory. With new challenges of high energy and scalability
of DRAM, emerging non-volatile memory technologies, such as
phase-change memory (PCM), are being considered. Typically,
PCM is used in conjunction with DRAM to form a hybrid main
memory. Exposing both the PCM and DRAM to the system
software and managing it through the operating system (OS)
is a viable architecture. The advantage of this
organization is that current systems are more easily adapted
to support a partitioned DRAM/PCM address space with only
small changes to their design. In addition, this
architecture is the easiest path forward to incorporate
persistence in the main memory hierarchy by reserving part
of PCM for storage.

However, the performance of software-managed hybrid memory
is not on par with hardware-only approaches, such as the
DRAM cache. This is caused by the large granularity at which
data is migrated (OS pages) and the low visibility that the
OS has of the access patterns of applications. This thesis
proposes an experimental framework for studying
software-managed hybrid memory and uses it to understand the
causes of its low performance. In addition, this thesis
proposes and evaluates several hardware-software co-designed
mechanisms to alleviate the performance impacts of managing
hybrid memory in software. Lastly, this thesis proposes a
new migration policy specifically designed to take advantage
of the new hardware support. These contributions show that
software-managed hybrid memory with specialized hardware
support for migration and monitoring is a viable
architecture for PCM-based hybrid main memory.


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Item Type: University of Pittsburgh ETD
Status: Unpublished
CreatorsEmailPitt UsernameORCID
Bock, Santiagosab104@pitt.edusab1040000-0003-3220-2152
ETD Committee:
TitleMemberEmail AddressPitt UsernameORCID
Committee ChairChilders, Brucechilders@pitt.educhilders
Committee MemberMelhem, Ramimelhem@pitt.edumelhem0000-0001-6403-5446
Committee MemberMosse, Danielmosse@pitt.edumosse0000-0002-9508-9815
Committee MemberYang, Junjuy9@pitt.edujuy90000-0001-8372-6541
Date: 31 January 2018
Date Type: Publication
Defense Date: 3 November 2017
Approval Date: 31 January 2018
Submission Date: 27 November 2017
Access Restriction: No restriction; Release the ETD for access worldwide immediately.
Number of Pages: 117
Institution: University of Pittsburgh
Schools and Programs: Dietrich School of Arts and Sciences > Computer Science
Degree: PhD - Doctor of Philosophy
Thesis Type: Doctoral Dissertation
Refereed: Yes
Uncontrolled Keywords: Phase Change Memory, Software-Managed Hybrid Main Memory, Page Migration
Date Deposited: 31 Jan 2018 15:41
Last Modified: 31 Jan 2018 15:41


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