Performance and Energy Efficiency Tradeoffs of Storage Class Memory

Heekwon PARK
Seungjae BAEK
Jongmoo CHOI

IEICE TRANSACTIONS on Information and Systems   Vol.E93-D    No.11    pp.3112-3115
Publication Date: 2010/11/01
Online ISSN: 1745-1361
DOI: 10.1587/transinf.E93.D.3112
Print ISSN: 0916-8532
Type of Manuscript: LETTER
Category: Computer System
storage class memory,  new memory hierarchy,  performance,  energy consumption,  

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The traditional mobile consumer electronics such as media players and smart phones use two distinct memories, SDRAM and Flash memory. SDRAM is used as main memory since it has characteristic of byte-unit random accessibility while Flash memory as secondary storage due to its characteristic of non-volatility. However, the advent of Storage Class Memory (SCM) that supports both SDRAM and Flash memory characteristics gives an opportunity to design a new system configuration. In this paper, we explore four feasible system configurations, namely RAM-Flash, RAM-SCM, SCM-Flash and SCM-Only. Then, using a real embedded system equipped with FeRAM, a type of SCM, we analyze the tradeoffs between performance and energy efficiency of each configuration. Experimental results have shown that SCM has great potential to reduce energy consumption for all configurations while performance is highly application dependent and might be degraded on the SCM-Flash and SCM-Only configuration.