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A hybrid hard disk drive that uses non-volatile memory as a cache is gaining popularity because of its improved reliability and performance. We present the design and implementation of a data prefetching scheme that makes use of flash memory to reduce disk energy consumption in media players. Based on the estimated time taken to prefetch data into flash memory, we selectively determine when to spin up or down the disk in a timely manner with the aim of reducing disk energy consumption while providing real-time video playback. We implemented our scheme in MPlayer running on the Linux 2.6. Experimental results show that the disk energy consumption can be reduced between 35% and 63%, if we add a reasonable amount of flash memory to a small DRAM.
Date of Publication: November 2010