An Analytical Model for Performance and Lifetime Estimation of Hybrid DRAM-NVM Main Memories

03/24/2019 ∙ by Reza Salkhordeh, et al. ∙ 0

NVMs have promising advantages (e.g., lower idle power, higher density) over the existing predominant main memory technology, DRAM. Yet, NVMs also have disadvantages (e.g., limited endurance). System architects are therefore examining hybrid DRAM-NVM main memories to enable the advantages of NVMs while avoiding the disadvantages as much as possible. Unfortunately, the hybrid memory design space is very large and complex due to the existence of very different types of NVMs and their rapidly-changing characteristics. Therefore, optimization of performance and lifetime of hybrid memory based computing platforms and their experimental evaluation using traditional simulation methods can be very time-consuming and sometimes even impractical. As such, it is necessary to develop a fast and flexible analytical model to estimate the performance and lifetime of hybrid memories on various workloads. This paper presents an analytical model for hybrid memories based on Markov decision processes. The proposed model estimates the hit ratio and lifetime for various configurations of DRAM-NVM hybrid main memories. Our model also provides accurate estimation of the effect of data migration policies on the hybrid memory hit ratio, one of the most important factors in hybrid memory performance and lifetime. Such an analytical model can aid designers to tune hybrid memory configurations to improve performance and/or lifetime. We present several optimizations that make our model more efficient while maintaining its accuracy. Our experimental evaluations show that the proposed model (a) accurately predicts the hybrid memory hit ratio with an average error of 4.61 on a commodity server, (b) accurately estimates the NVM lifetime with an average error of 2.93 state-of-the-art simulation platforms for hybrid memories.

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