High-performance memory system architectures using data compression
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The Chip Multi-Processor (CMP) paradigm has cemented itself as the archetypal philosophy of future microprocessor design. Rapidly diminishing technology feature sizes have enabled the integration of ever-increasing numbers of processing cores on a single chip die. This abundance of processing power has magnified the venerable processor-memory performance gap, which is known as the ”memory wall”. To bridge this performance gap, a high-performing memory structure is needed. An attractive solution to overcoming this processor-memory performance gap is using compression in the memory hierarchy. In this thesis, to use compression techniques more efficiently, compressed cacheline size information is studied, and size-aware cache management techniques and hot-cacheline prediction for dynamic early decompression technique are proposed. Also, the proposed works in this thesis attempt to mitigate the limitations of phase change memory (PCM) such as low write performance and limited long-term endurance. One promising solution is the deployment of hybridized memory architectures that fuse dynamic random access memory (DRAM) and PCM, to combine the best attributes of each technology by using the DRAM as an off-chip cache. A dual-phase compression technique is proposed for high-performing DRAM/PCM hybrid environments and a multi-faceted wear-leveling technique is proposed for the long-term endurance of compressed PCM. This thesis also includes a new compression-based hybrid multi-level cell (MLC)/single-level cell (SLC) PCM management technique that aims to combine the performance edge of SLCs with the higher capacity of MLCs in a hybrid environment.