Defense Date


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy


Electrical & Computer Engineering

First Advisor

Weijun Xiao

Second Advisor

Xubin He


Modern main memory is primarily built using dynamic random access memory (DRAM) chips. As DRAM chip scales to higher density, there are mainly three problems that impede DRAM scalability and performance improvement. First, DRAM refresh overhead grows from negligible to severe, which limits DRAM scalability and causes performance degradation. Second, although memory capacity has increased dramatically in past decade, memory bandwidth has not kept pace with CPU performance scaling, which has led to the memory wall problem. Third, DRAM dissipates considerable power and has been reported to account for as much as 40% of the total system energy and this problem exacerbates as DRAM scales up.

To address these problems, 1) we propose Rank-level Piggyback Caching (RPC) to alleviate DRAM refresh overhead by servicing memory requests and refresh operations in parallel; 2) we propose a high performance and bandwidth efficient approach, called SELF, to breaking the memory bandwidth wall by exploiting die-stacked DRAM as a part of memory; 3) we propose a cost-effective and energy-efficient architecture for hybrid memory systems composed of high bandwidth memory (HBM) and phase change memory (PCM), called Dual Role HBM (DR-HBM). In DR-HBM, hot pages are tracked at a cost-effective way and migrated to the HBM to improve performance, while cold pages are stored at the PCM to save energy.


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