Browse Prior Art Database

Computer Memory Organization using Fast Nonvolatile Storage

IP.com Disclosure Number: IPCOM000108808D
Original Publication Date: 1992-Jun-01
Included in the Prior Art Database: 2005-Mar-22
Document File: 3 page(s) / 101K

Publishing Venue

IBM

Related People

Pfister, GF: AUTHOR

Abstract

Disclosed is a computer memory organization that simplifies programming and increases system performance given the availability of large, fast, nonvolatile semiconductor storage.

This text was extracted from an ASCII text file.
This is the abbreviated version, containing approximately 52% of the total text.

Computer Memory Organization using Fast Nonvolatile Storage

       Disclosed is a computer memory organization that
simplifies programming and increases system performance given the
availability of large, fast, nonvolatile semiconductor storage.

      The figure shows a diagram of a computer using this
organization.  Its distinguishing features are:
      1. A large, semiconductor nonvolatile backing store 5, with the
following characteristics:
           o    It is of sufficient size that it replaces
conventional disk storage as the primary nonvolatile storage in the
computer system, e.g., 10s of MBytes to GBytes.
           o    Its access times are on the order of microseconds,
and its data transfer rate is on the order of 100s of MBytes/second.
           o    It is able to transfer data in multikilobyte (or
smaller) units, here called pages.
      2. A page cache memory 3, connected to the backing store,
accessed in smaller (10s of bytes) units by the processor, used to
hold recently accessed pages from the backing store.
      3. Control 4 and high-speed data transfer facilities enabling
hardware-controlled transfer of pages between the page cache and the
backing store in response to memory requests from the processor to
the page cache. The control logic used may correspond to that
conventionally used in cache memory (e.g., multiway set associative
organization) although other techniques may be used.

      These features enable the primary distinguishing feature of the
organization disclosed here:  Real storage addresses emitted by the
processor directly address nonvolatile backing store data without the
need for software intervention.

      Prior art provides the illusion of a "single level store" to
application programs, mediated by substantial operating system
complexity.  The technique disclosed here provides this ability
directly, in hardware, to the operating system itself.

      Advantages of this organization over conventional
organizations:
      1. Much faster acce...