Onur Mutlu gave a Distinguished Lecture at INESC-ID

Onur Mutlu gave the Distinguished Lecture "Rethinking Memory System Design (and the Computing Platforms We Design Around It)" at INESC-ID in Lisbon, Portugal. Slides


The memory system is a fundamental performance and energy bottleneck in almost all computing systems. Recent system design, application, and technology trends that require more capacity, bandwidth, efficiency, and predictability out of the memory system make it an even more important system bottleneck. At the same time, DRAM and flash technologies are experiencing difficult technology scaling challenges that make the maintenance and enhancement of their capacity, energy efficiency, and reliability significantly more costly with conventional techniques. In fact, recent reliability issues with DRAM, such as the RowHammer problem, are already threatening system security and predictability.

In this talk, we first discuss major challenges facing modern memory systems in the presence of greatly increasing demand for data and its fast analysis. We then examine some promising research and design directions to overcome these challenges. We discuss three key solution directions: 1) enabling new memory architectures, functions, interfaces, via more memory-centric system design, 2) enabling emerging non-volatile memory (NVM) technologies via hybrid and persistent memory systems, 3) enabling predictable memory systems via QoS-aware memory system design. If time permits, we will also discuss research challenges and opportunities in NAND flash memories.