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Zhang-Yu Chen, Yu Hua, Peng-Fei Zuo, Yuan-Yuan Sun, Yun-Cheng Guo. Approximate Similarity-Aware Compression for Non-Volatile Main Memory[J]. Journal of Computer Science and Technology. DOI: 10.1007/s11390-023-2565-7
Citation: Zhang-Yu Chen, Yu Hua, Peng-Fei Zuo, Yuan-Yuan Sun, Yun-Cheng Guo. Approximate Similarity-Aware Compression for Non-Volatile Main Memory[J]. Journal of Computer Science and Technology. DOI: 10.1007/s11390-023-2565-7

Approximate Similarity-Aware Compression for Non-Volatile Main Memory

  • Image bitmaps, i.e., data containing pixels and visual perception, have been widely used in emerging applications for pixel operations while consuming lots of memory space and energy. Compared with legacy DRAM, non-volatile memories (NVMs) are suitable for bitmap storage due to the salient features of high density and intrinsic durability. However, writing NVMs suffers from higher energy consumption and latency compared with read accesses. Existing precise or approximate compression schemes in NVM controllers show limited performance for bitmaps due to the irregular data patterns and variance in bitmaps. We observe the pixel-level similarity when writing bitmaps due to the analogous contents in adjacent pixels. By exploiting the pixel-level similarity, we propose SimCom, an approximate similarity-aware compression scheme in the NVM module controller, to efficiently compress data for each write access on-the-fly. The idea behind SimCom is to compress continuous similar words into the pairs of base words with runs. The storage costs for small runs are further mitigated by reusing the least significant bits of base words. SimCom adaptively selects an appropriate compression mode for various bitmap formats, thus achieving an efficient trade-off between quality and memory performance. We implement SimCom on GEM5/zsim with NVMain and evaluate the performance with real-world image/video workloads. Our results demonstrate the efficacy and efficiency of our SimCom with an efficient quality-performance trade-off.
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