The End of a Necessary Evil: Collapsing the Memory Hierarchy

Good Post by Martin Fink (thank you)

Four hours and 31 minutes.  That’s how much longer my HP Folio 1040 laptop estimates I can work given the energy stored in its battery.  Where does all that energy go? My CPU meter shows only slight activity. I’m only running a couple of apps and I’m not typing thatfast.

It turns out that today’s computers spend most of their time and energy shuffling data between tiers of storage and memory. In modern systems, this hierarchy can be more than 10 layers deep. In geek land, we call this “the volatility chain.” We’re all so used to this that few of us ever think to question it. But on the face of it, this is an odd way to go about computing. Why not hold all your data in main memory, all of the time?

Read on here

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