On The Energy-Efficiency of Byte-Addressable Non-Volatile Memory

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Non-Volatile Memory (NVM) technology holds promise to replace SRAM and DRAM at various levels of the memory hierarchy. The interest in NVM is motivated by the difficulty faced in scaling DRAM beyond 22 nm and, long-term, lower cost per bit. While offering higher density and negligible static power (leakage and refresh), NVM suffers increased latency and energy per memory access. This paper develops energy and performance models of memory systems and applies them to understand the energy-efficiency of replacing or complementing DRAM with NVM. Our analysis focusses on the application of NVM in main memory. We demonstrate that NVM such as STT-RAM and RRAM is energy-efficient for memory sizes commonly employed in servers and high-end workstations, but PCM is not. Furthermore, the model is well suited to quickly evaluate the impact of changes to the model parameters, which may be achieved through optimization of the memory architecture, and to determine the key parameters that impact system-level energy and performance.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)144
Number of pages4
JournalIEEE Computer Architecture Letters
Issue number2
Early online date05 Sep 2014
Publication statusPublished - 2015


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