HMSim – Hybrid Memory Simulator


DRAM technology faces density and power challenges to increase capacity because of limitations of physical cell design. To overcome these limitations, system designers are exploring alternative solutions that combine DRAM and emerging NVRAM technologies. Previous work on heterogeneous memories focuses, mainly, on two system designs: PCache, a hierarchical, inclusive memory system, and HRank, a flat, non-inclusive memory system. We demonstrate that neither of these designs can universally achieve high performance and energy efficiency across a suite of HPC workloads. In this work, we investigate the impact of a number of multi- level memory designs on the performance, power, and energy consumption of applications. To achieve this goal and overcome the limited number of available tools to study heterogeneous memories, we created HMsim, an infrastructure that enables n-level, heterogeneous memory studies by leveraging existing memory simulators. We, then, propose HpMC, a new memory controller design that combines the best aspects of existing management policies to improve performance and energy. Our energy-aware memory management system dynamically switches between PCache and HRank based on the temporal locality of applications. Our results show that HpMC reduces energy consumption from 13% to 45% compared to PCache and HRank, while providing the same bandwidth and higher capacity than a conventional DRAM system.