Design and Simulation of Content-Aware Hybrid DRAM-PCM Memory System

IEEE Transactions on Parallel and Distributed Systems(2022)

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Phase Change Memory (PCM) can directly connect persistent memory to main memory bus, while it achieves high read throughput and low standby power, the critical concerns are its poor write performance and limited durability. A naturally in-spired design is the hybrid memory architecture that fuses DRAM and PCM, so as to exploit the positive aspects of both types of memory. Unfortunately, existing solutions are seriously challenged by the limited main memory size, which is the primary bottleneck of in-memory computing. In this paper, we introduce a novel Content Aware Hybrid DRAM-PCM memory system framework—CAHRAM, which exploits deduplication to improve line sharing with high memory efficiency. It reduces write traffic to hybrid memory by removing unnecessary duplicate line writes, thereby further enhancing the write endurance of PCM. And it also substantially extends available free memory space by coalescing redundant lines in hybrid memory. We also design a reference-based page migration technique to minimize the access overheads caused by the performance gap between DRAM and PCM. Compared with the state-of-the-art in a hybrid memory simulator, our experiment results show that CAHRAM can achieve the highest I/O performance and the longest PCM lifetime with the competitive efficiencies in space and energy.
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