Hardware Memory Management for Future Mobile Hybrid Memory Systems
The current mobile applications have rapidly growing memory footprints, posing a great challenge for memory system design. Insufficient DRAM main memory will incur frequent data swaps between memory and storage, a process that hurts performance, consumes energy and deteriorates the write endurance of typical flash storage devices. Alternately, a larger DRAM has higher leakage power and drains the battery faster. Further, DRAM scaling trends make further growth of DRAMin the mobile space
... ive due to cost. Emerging non-volatile memory (NVM) has the potential to alleviate these issues due to its higher capacity per cost than DRAM and mini-mal static power. Recently, a wide spectrum of NVM technologies, including phase-change memories (PCM), memristor, and 3D XPoint have emerged. Despite the mentioned advantages, NVM has longer access latency compared to DRAMand NVM writes can incur higher latencies and wear costs. Therefore integration of these new memory technologies in the memory hierarchy requires a fundamental rearchitect-ing of traditional system designs. In this work, we propose a hardware-accelerated memory manager (HMMU) that addresses both types of memory in a flat space address space. We design a set of data placement and data migration policies within this memory manager, such that we may exploit the advantages of each memory technology. By augmenting the system with this HMMU, we reduce the overall memory latency while also reducing writes to the NVM. Experimental results show that our design achieves a 39% reduction in energy consumption with only a 12% performance degradation versus an all-DRAM baseline that is likely untenable in the future.