Energy-Efficient Streaming Using Non-volatile Memory

Mohammed G. Khatib*, Pieter H. Hartel, Hylke W. van Dijk

*Corresponding author for this work

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

    8 Citations (Scopus)
    115 Downloads (Pure)


    The disk and the DRAM in a typical mobile system consume a significant fraction (up to 30%) of the total system energy. To save on storage energy, the DRAM should be small and the disk should be spun down for long periods of time. We show that this can be achieved for predominantly streaming workloads by connecting the disk to the DRAM via a large non-volatile memory (NVM). We refer to this as the NVM-based architecture (NVMBA); the conventional architecture with only a DRAM and a disk is referred to as DRAMBA. The NVM in the NVMBA acts as a traffic reshaper from the disk to the DRAM. The total system costs are balanced, since the cost increase due to adding the NVM is compensated by the decrease in DRAM cost. We analyze the energy saving of NVMBA, with NAND flash memory serving as NVM, relative to DRAMBA with respect to (1) the streaming demand, (2) the disk form factor, (3) the best-effort provision, and (4) the stream location on the disk. We present a worst-case analysis of the reliability of the disk drive and the flash memory, and show that a small flash capacity is sufficient to operate the system over a year at negligible cost. Disk lifetime is superior to flash, so that is of no concern.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)149-168
    Number of pages20
    JournalJournal of signal processing systems
    Issue number2
    Publication statusPublished - Aug 2010


    • SCS-Cybersecurity
    • NAND flash
    • Non-volatile memory
    • DRAM
    • Soft real-time system
    • Energy Efficiency
    • Energy efficiency
    • Disk drive
    • Streaming architecture


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