Paper10. An Integrated Simulation Infrastructure for the Entire Memory Hierarchy- Cache, DRAM, Nonvolatile Memory, and Disk

As computer systems evolve towards exascale and attempt to meet new
application requirements such as big data, conventional memory technologies
and architectures are no longer adequate in terms of bandwidth, power,
capacity, or resilience. In order to understand these problems and analyze
potential solutions, an accurate simulation environment that captures all
of the complex interactions of the modern computer system is essential. In
this article, we present an integrated simulation infrastructure for the entire
memory hierarchy, including the processor cache, the DRAM main memory
system, and nonvolatile memory, whether it is integrated as hybrid main
memory or as a solid state drive. The memory simulations we present are
integrated into a full system simulation, which enables studying the memory
hierarchy with a faithful representation of a modern x86 multicore processor.
The simulated hardware is capable of running unmodified operating systems
and user software, which generates authentic memory access patterns for
memory hierarchy studies. To demonstrate the capabilities of our infrastructure
we include a series of experimental examples that utilize the cache, DRAM
main memory, and nonvolatile memory modules.

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