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Memory Scaling: A Systems Architecture Perspective
by Onur Mutlu
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Architecture perpective (1), new dram architecture (1), New memory technology (1), predictable performance (1)
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#1 posted on Sep 13 2013, 22:38
In general, this paper outlined the perspective of systems architecture. It is widely acknowledged that the memory system has restricted to a significant extent the performance of almost all computing systems. At the beginning of this paper, the author described some new trends, demands and possible solution directions in memory system development. Then in the rest of the paper, the author covered his solution ideas in the three directions which are 1) overcoming scaling challenges with DRAM,2) enabling the use of emerging memory technologies,3) design memory systems that provide predictable performance and QoS to apps and users. In addition, some challenges are also described, namely, challenge on new DRAM architecture, novel memory technologies, and predictable performance. In the end, the author also mentioned something concerning flash scaling challenge.
In particular, in the section of the challenge from DRAM architecture, specific areas where improvements could be made are listed. Most of them derive from basic ideas in this area, like reducing DRAM latency, reducing refresh impact and so on. Also, some intriguing memory technologies have been introduced, like PCM and STT-MRAM which though could not replace DRAM completely now but indeed provide a tradeoff. Furthermore, making some reasonable estimation of performance also provides some promising branches where improvements could be made.
It should be observed that as the underlying memory technology nears its scaling limits at the physical level, all the approaches mentioned above will be proved to have great significance.