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Fast, Cheap, and Persistent

by C. Ross Jam on February 6, 2013

Operating System Implications of Fast, Cheap, Non-Volatile Memory

The existence of two basic levels of storage (fast/volatile and slow/non-volatile) has been a long-standing premise of most computer systems, influencing the design of OS components, including file systems, virtual memory, scheduling, execution models, and even their APIs. Emerging resistive memory technologies – such as phase-change memory (PCM) and memristors – have the potential to provide large, fast, non-volatile memory systems, changing the assumptions that motivated the design of current operating systems. This paper examines the implications of non-volatile memories on a number of OS mechanisms, functions, and properties.

Starting to think UltraRAM rolls off the tongue better than my tongue in cheek moniker BigRAM. Besides being cheap enough to splurge on, RAM will be different in the future.

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