Princeton: Replacing RAM with Flash Can Save Massive Power

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serendipiti

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Replacing RAM with some kind of non volatile memory makes sense for newer solid state storage based on newer technologies. If one of the NAND-flash replacements gets its way to consumers and keeps up to the promises these technologies do, it could get into RAM just to get to a simpler design.
Nowadays the gains are very little: 90% on power usage of MEMORY (some watts, we are not talking about CPU or GPU). Wonder about the lifespan of the NAND cells in such scenario...
 

chronium

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[citation][nom]kcorp2003[/nom]performance for flash memory is slow when compare to RAM memory.[/citation]
What this article forgets to remind people is that the flash side is only used on items that are not active in the ram so the performance difference does not become an issue.
 

oneblackened

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I was just about to ask that, that strikes me as a little worrisome considering flash has a very limited lifespan.
 

wiyosaya

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[citation][nom]chronium[/nom]What this article forgets to remind people is that the flash side is only used on items that are not active in the ram so the performance difference does not become an issue.[/citation]
What this does do is significantly increase the performance of the "disk interface" i.e., whatever version of SATA is currently being used to access flash storage. The result is that the "disk" subsystem's performance is boosted to nearly that of RAM.
 

haplo602

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[citation][nom]werfu[/nom]Why not simply have a swap partition onto a SSD?[/citation]

because they could not make headlines with that :))
 

shin0bi272

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to counteract what the brilliant minds at princeton (the ones who gave us woodrow wilson ... who gave us the fed, the income tax, and prohibition) I say talk to IBM about their new PCM if youre wanting to include NV ram into your memory chips.
 
[citation][nom]LaHawzel[/nom]RAM is to Flash Memory as Flash Memory is to Floppy Disks.[/citation]

Read performance per cell of NAND flash is fairly close to DRAM read performance. Write performance is exponentially lower than DRAM, but read performance (arguably more important) is close. Even then, the write perfomrance difference is nothing like the difference between NAND flash and floppy disks.
 
[citation][nom]juanc[/nom]In other words. FLASH as Main Memory and RAM as Cache L4[/citation]

That might be an accurate way of viewing this. I'd think that a specialized flash memory would be preferable for this, such as some SLC that is specifically optimized for this, to alleviate the reliability concerns. It would be expensive per GB, but it could be cheaper than RAM per GB and if it's done right like the guys from the article have been talking about and working on, then maybe it could be a better solution than what we use now, at least in high-capacity servers such as powerful web servers and such.

[citation][nom]sylvez[/nom]Princeton: Replacing Computer with Typewriter Can Save Massive Power[/citation]

That's probably true too, but not even remotely comparable and thus relevant to what is being looked into here.
 

f-14

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dalethepcman

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Every FusionIO article stating that Flash is less expensive makes me laugh. FuisonIO Octal is 95k for 512gb, 512gb or registered 16gb sticks of ddr3 is about 60k. They are correct that flash is less expensive than ram, just not when it comes from them.
 

memadmax

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Sticking the swap file on a Flash drive will yield the same effect...

These guys just built some software that gives you the option to control what goes on the Flash......
 
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