cfaed Seminar Series

Prof. Onur Mutlu , ETH Zurich, CH

Rethinking Memory System Design (and the Computing Platforms We Design Around It)

27.02.2017 (Monday) , 14:50 - 16:20
Andreas-Pfitzmann-Bau, Room APB 3105 , Nöthnitzer Str. 46 , 01187 Dresden

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 and thus enable scalable
memory systems for the future. We discuss three key solution directions: 1) enabling new
memory architectures, functions, interfaces, and better integration of memory and the rest of
the system, 2) designing a memory system that intelligently employs emerging non-volatile
memory (NVM) technologies and coordinates memory and storage management, 3) reducing
memory interference and providing predictable performance to applications sharing the
memory system. If time permits, we will also touch upon our ongoing related work in combating
scaling challenges of NAND flash memory.
An accompanying paper, slightly outdated (circa 2015), can be found here

Onur Mutlu is a Professor of Computer Science at ETH Zurich. He is also a faculty member at
Carnegie Mellon University, where he previously held the William D. and Nancy W. Strecker
Early Career Professorship. His current broader research interests are in computer
architecture, systems, and bioinformatics. He is especially interested in interactions across
domains and between applications, system software, compilers, and microarchitecture, with a
major current focus on memory and storage systems. He obtained his PhD and MS in ECE
from the University of Texas at Austin and BS degrees in Computer Engineering and
Psychology from the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor. His industrial experience spans
starting the Computer Architecture Group at Microsoft Research (2006-2009), and various
product and research positions at Intel Corporation, Advanced Micro Devices, and VMware.
He received the inaugural IEEE Computer Society Young Computer Architect Award, the
inaugural Intel Early Career Faculty Award, faculty partnership awards from various
companies, and a healthy number of best paper or "Top Pick" paper recognitions at various
computer systems and architecture venues. His computer architecture course lectures and
materials are freely available on YouTube, and his research group makes software artifacts
freely available online. For more information, please see his webpage

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