CLR-DRAM: A Low-Cost DRAM Architecture Enabling Dynamic Capacity-Latency Trade-Off

by   Haocong Luo, et al.

DRAM is the prevalent main memory technology, but its long access latency can limit the performance of many workloads. Although prior works provide DRAM designs that reduce DRAM access latency, their reduced storage capacities hinder the performance of workloads that need large memory capacity. Because the capacity-latency trade-off is fixed at design time, previous works cannot achieve maximum performance under very different and dynamic workload demands. This paper proposes Capacity-Latency-Reconfigurable DRAM (CLR-DRAM), a new DRAM architecture that enables dynamic capacity-latency trade-off at low cost. CLR-DRAM allows dynamic reconfiguration of any DRAM row to switch between two operating modes: 1) max-capacity mode, where every DRAM cell operates individually to achieve approximately the same storage density as a density-optimized commodity DRAM chip and 2) high-performance mode, where two adjacent DRAM cells in a DRAM row and their sense amplifiers are coupled to operate as a single low-latency logical cell driven by a single logical sense amplifier. We implement CLR-DRAM by adding isolation transistors in each DRAM subarray. Our evaluations show that CLR-DRAM can improve system performance and DRAM energy consumption by 18.6 workloads. We believe that CLR-DRAM opens new research directions for a system to adapt to the diverse and dynamically changing memory capacity and access latency demands of workloads.


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