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2016 IEEE 22nd International Conference on Parallel and Distributed Systems (ICPADS) (2016)
Wuhan, Hubei, China
Dec. 13, 2016 to Dec. 16, 2016
ISSN: 1521-9097
ISBN: 978-1-5090-4457-3
pp: 861-868
Phase Change Memory (PCM) has emerged as a promising candidate for building the future main memory systems. However, the limited write endurance is one of the major obstacles for PCM to be practically applied. Traditional wear-leveling techniques try to uniformly balance the write traffics under both general applications and malicious attacks to enhance the PCM lifetime. However, these techniques fail to consider the endurance variation in PCM chips, and result in severe lifespan degradation since uniform write distribution leads to the weakest cell to be worn out much earlier. In this paper, we propose a weight-based algebraic wear-leveling (WAWL) scheme to balance wear rates (i.e., write traffics/endurance) in a secure manner according to the endurance distribution. In WAWL, the entire memory space is divided into multiple regions. When the number of the writes to a region reaches a threshold (i.e., swapping interval), the region is swapped with a randomly chosen region. The basic idea behind WAWL is that the swapping interval and the chosen probability of each region are variable and associated with the endurance metric of the region. By deploying suitable swapping interval and chosen probability, WAWL achieves uniform wear-rate distribution across the entire memory in an undetectable way. In addition, to reduce space consumption and alleviate performance degradation during region swapping, we propose a fine-grained swapping scheme which migrates the lines one-by-one between the candidate regions. Experimental evaluation driven by the various attacks demonstrates that WAWL significantly increases the PCM lifespan and improves security with slight performance degradation and affordable hardware overhead.
Phase change materials, Security, Degradation, Programming, Algorithm design and analysis, Random access memory, Hardware

W. Zhou, D. Feng, Y. Hua, J. Liu, F. Huang and P. Zuo, "Increasing Lifetime and Security of Phase-Change Memory with Endurance Variation," 2016 IEEE 22nd International Conference on Parallel and Distributed Systems (ICPADS), Wuhan, Hubei, China, 2016, pp. 861-868.
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