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Interposing Flash between Disk and DRAM to Save Energy for Streaming Workloads

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4 Author(s)

In computer systems, the storage hierarchy, composed of a disk drive and a DRAM, is responsible for a large portion of the total energy consumed. This work studies the energy merit of interposing flash memory as a streaming buffer between the disk drive and the DRAM. Doing so, we extend the spin-off period of the disk drive and cut down on the DRAM capacity at the cost of (extra) flash. We study two different streaming applications: mobile multimedia players and media servers. Our simulated results show that for light workloads, a system with a flash as a buffer between the disk and the DRAM consumes up to 40% less energy than the same system without a flash buffer. For heavy workloads savings of at least 30% are possible. We also address the wear- out of flash and present a simple solution to extend its lifetime.

Published in:

Embedded Systems for Real-Time Multimedia, 2007. ESTIMedia 2007. IEEE/ACM/IFIP Workshop on

Date of Conference:

4-5 Oct. 2007