Efficient Warranty-Aware Wear Leveling for Embedded Systems With PCM Main Memory

Sheng Wei Cheng, Yuan Hao Chang, Tseng Yi Chen, Yu Fen Chang, Hsin Wen Wei, Wei Kuan Shih

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Scopus citations


Recently, phase change memory (PCM) has become a promising candidate to replace dynamic RAM as main memory due to its low power consumption, fast I/O performance, and byte addressability. Accompanied with the merits, the adoption of PCM may suffer from its physical characteristic of limited write endurance. Wear leveling is a well-known approach to address this issue. For PCM main memory, the design of wear leveling should stress operation efficiency and overhead reduction. Nevertheless, conventional designs are usually dedicated to prolonging the lifetime of PCM in the best effort. In this paper, we propose a novel perspective that, instead of valuing PCM lifetime exploitation as the first priority, we turn to satisfy the product warranty period. With such a paradigm shift, the management overhead of wear-leveling mechanisms could be reduced so as to achieve further enhancement of operation efficiency. To this end, we propose a warranty-aware page management design that introduces novel criteria used to determine the state of a page by taking both the product warranty period and the write cycles of a page into consideration. Theoretical analysis is also conducted to investigate the properties and performance of the proposed management. To show the effectiveness of the proposed design, we collected real traces by running SPEC2006 benchmarks with different write intensity workloads. The experimental results showed that our design reduced the overhead to one-third that of the state-of-the-art designs while still providing the same level of performance.

Original languageEnglish
Article number7387787
Pages (from-to)2535-2547
Number of pages13
JournalIEEE Transactions on Very Large Scale Integration (VLSI) Systems
Issue number7
StatePublished - Jul 2016


  • Embedded systems
  • PCM main memory
  • operation efficiency
  • product warranty period
  • wear leveling


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