Steven Swanson

The NVSL Goes to the Movies

To celebrate the holidays, the end of the quarter, and the end of another exciting year of research, the NVSL played hooky on the last day of finals and went to see "The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey" in 3D high frame rate IMAX. There was no real consensus about whether 48 frame-per-second is the next big thing, but we still had a pretty good time. There was unanimous consent, however, that 3D glasses will be part of the standard NVSL uniform from now on.

Happy Holidays!

Michael Wei Receives NSF Graduate Research Fellowship

The NSF awards these fellowships across science, engineering, and math-related disciplines. They are very prestigious.

From the NSF web site: The National Science Foundation's Graduate Research Fellowship Program (GRFP) helps ensure the vitality of the human resource base of science and engineering in the United States and reinforces its diversity. The program recognizes and supports outstanding graduate students in NSF-supported science, technology, engineering, and mathematics disciplines who are pursuing research-based master's and doctoral degrees at accredited US institutions.

Way to go, Michael!

Scaling the Memory Wall with Phase Change Memories

Moin Qureshi
Georgia Tech
As conventional memory technologies such as DRAM run into the scaling wall, architects and system designers are forced to look at alternative technologies for building future computer systems. Several emerging Non-Volatile Memory (NVM) technologies such as PCM, STT-RAM, and Memristors have the potential to boost memory capacity in a scalable and power-efficient manner. However, these technologies are not drop-in replacements and will require novel solutions to enable their deployment. Even the prime candidates among these technologies have their own set of challenges such as higher read latency (than DRAM), much higher write latency, and limited write endurance. In this talk, I will discuss some of our recent work that addresses these challenges. Our solutions include: hybrid memory systems, start-gap wear leveling, online attack detection, and efficient error correction. These solutions are applicable to a wide variety of emerging NVM technologies, and lay the groundwork for enabling their adoption in a broad spectrum of computer systems.
Speaker Biography: 
Dr. Moinuddin Qureshi joined the faculty of the Georgia Institute of Technology as an Associate Professor in August 2011. His research interests include computer architecture, scalable memory systems, fault tolerant computing, and analytical modeling of computer systems. He worked as a research staff member at IBM T.J. Watson Research Center from 2007 to 2011. While at IBM, he contributed to the design of efficient caching algorithms for Power 7 processors. He was awarded the IBM outstanding technical achievement award for his studies on emerging memory technologies for server processors. He received his Ph.D. (2007) and M.S. (2003), both in Electrical Engineering from the University of Texas at Austin, and his Bachelor of Electronics Engineering (2000) degree from University of Mumbai.

Our Protoype Phase-Change Storage Array Will be at HotStorage '11

This paper describes Onyx, our prototype phase-change memory-based storage array. It holds 10 GB of first-generation phase change memory and provides a window into the future of fast SSDs. Onyx leverages the NVSL's work on Moneta to minimize software overheads and provide a high-bandwidth, low-latency interface to fast non-volatile memories.

Ameen Akel designed the PCM "DIMMs" that form the heart of Onyx. They hold 40 Micron phase change memory chips and hold 640 MB each. He also crafted a PCM DIMM controller that maximizes performance while efficiently maximizing PCM reliability with a lightweight wear-leveling scheme.

Ameen will present the work at HotStorage 2011 in June.

Moneta on Stage at Supercomputing 2010

Adrian, Steve, Laura, Ameen, and Joel attended Supercomputing 2010 this week in New Orleans. It was great fun, and Adrian gave a great talk. Other highlights of our trip included eating some great New Orleans food including a variety of po-boy sandwiches, jambalaya, fried green tomatoes, some fantastic barbeque, beneigns, and some great key lime pie. There was also a very memorable walking tour of some of New Orlean's less-known sites. To top it all off, Adrian won an iPad!