Architectural Techniques for Memory Systems based on Emerging Memory Technologies : 새로운 메모리 기술을 기반으로 한 메모리 시스템 설계 기술

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공과대학 전기·컴퓨터공학부
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서울대학교 대학원
Computer ArchitectureMemory HierarchyNon-Volatile MemorySTT-RAMLogic-Enabled DRAMProcessing-in-Memory컴퓨터 구조메모리 계층비휘발성 메모리STT-RAM논리 회로가 통합된 DRAM프로세싱 인 메모리
학위논문 (박사)-- 서울대학교 대학원 : 전기·컴퓨터공학부, 2017. 2. 최기영.
Performance and energy efficiency of modern computer systems are largely dominated by the memory system. This memory bottleneck has been exacerbated in the past few years with (1) architectural innovations for improving the efficiency of computation units (e.g., chip multiprocessors), which shift the major cause of inefficiency from processors to memory, and (2) the emergence of data-intensive applications, which demands a large capacity of main memory and an excessive amount of memory bandwidth to efficiently handle such workloads. In order to address this memory wall challenge, this dissertation aims at exploring the potential of emerging memory technologies and designing a high-performance, energy-efficient memory hierarchy that is aware of and leverages the characteristics of such new memory technologies.

The first part of this dissertation focuses on energy-efficient on-chip cache design based on a new non-volatile memory technology called Spin-Transfer Torque RAM (STT-RAM). When STT-RAM is used to build on-chip caches, it provides several advantages over conventional charge-based memory (e.g., SRAM or eDRAM), such as non-volatility, lower static power, and higher density. However, simply replacing SRAM caches with STT-RAM rather increases the energy consumption because write operations of STT-RAM are slower and more energy-consuming than those of SRAM.

To address this challenge, we propose four novel architectural techniques that can alleviate the impact of inefficient STT-RAM write operations on system performance and energy consumption. First, we apply STT-RAM to instruction caches (where write operations are relatively infrequent) and devise a power-gating mechanism called LASIC, which leverages the non-volatility of STT-RAM to turn off STT-RAM instruction caches inside small loops. Second, we propose lower-bits cache, which exploits the narrow bit-width characteristics of application data by caching frequent bit-flips at lower bits in a small SRAM cache. Third, we present prediction hybrid cache, an SRAM/STT-RAM hybrid cache whose block placement between SRAM and STT-RAM is determined by predicting the write intensity of each cache block with a new hardware structure called write intensity predictor. Fourth, we propose DASCA, which predicts write operations that can bypass the cache without incurring extra cache misses (called dead writes) and lets the last-level cache bypass such dead writes to reduce write energy consumption.

The second part of this dissertation architects intelligent main memory and its host architecture support based on logic-enabled DRAM. Traditionally, main memory has served the sole purpose of storing data because the extra manufacturing cost of implementing rich functionality (e.g., computation) on a DRAM die was unacceptably high. However, the advent of 3D die stacking now provides a practical, cost-effective way to integrate complex logic circuits into main memory, thereby opening up the possibilities for intelligent main memory. For example, it can be utilized to implement advanced memory management features (e.g., scheduling, power management, etc.) inside memory
it can be also used to offload computation to main memory, which allows us to overcome the memory bandwidth bottleneck caused by narrow off-chip channels (commonly known as processing-in-memory or PIM). The remaining questions are what to implement inside main memory and how to integrate and expose such new features to existing systems.

In order to answer these questions, we propose four system designs that utilize logic-enabled DRAM to improve system performance and energy efficiency. First, we utilize the existing logic layer of a Hybrid Memory Cube (a commercial logic-enabled DRAM product) to (1) dynamically turn off some of its off-chip links by monitoring the actual bandwidth demand and (2) integrate prefetch buffer into main memory to perform aggressive prefetching without consuming off-chip link bandwidth. Second, we propose a scalable accelerator for large-scale graph processing called Tesseract, in which graph processing computation is offloaded to specialized processors inside main memory in order to achieve memory-capacity-proportional performance. Third, we design a low-overhead PIM architecture for near-term adoption called PIM-enabled instructions, where PIM operations are interfaced as cache-coherent, virtually-addressed host processor instructions that can be executed either by the host processor or in main memory depending on the data locality. Fourth, we propose an energy-efficient PIM system called aggregation-in-memory, which can adaptively execute PIM operations at any level of the memory hierarchy and provides a fully automated compiler toolchain that transforms existing applications to use PIM operations without programmer intervention.
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College of Engineering/Engineering Practice School (공과대학/대학원)Dept. of Electrical and Computer Engineering (전기·정보공학부)Theses (Ph.D. / Sc.D._전기·정보공학부)
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