Building high-performance smartphones via non-volatile memory: The swap approach

Kan Zhong, Tianzheng Wang, Xiao Zhu, Linbo Long, Duo Liu, Weichen Liu, Zili Shaot, Edwin H.M. Sha

Research output: Chapter in book / Conference proceedingConference article published in proceeding or bookAcademic researchpeer-review

51 Citations (Scopus)


Smartphones are getting increasingly high-performance with advances in mobile processors and larger main memories to support feature-rich applications. However, the storage subsystem has always been a prohibitive factor that slows down the pace of reaching even higher performance while maintaining good user experience. Despite today's smart-phones are equipped with larger-than-ever main memories, they consume more energy and still run out of memory. But the slow NAND flash based storage vetoes the possibility of swapping - an important technique to extend main memory - and leaves a system that constantly terminates user applications under memory pressure. In this paper, we revisit swapping for smartphones with fast, byte-addressable, non-volatile memory (NVM) technologies. Instead of using flash, we build the swap area with NVM, to allow high performance without sacrificing user experience. Based on NVM's high performance and byte-addressability, we show that a copy-on-write swap-in scheme can achieve even better performance by avoiding unnecessary memory copy operations. To avoid fast worn-out of certain NVMs, we also propose Heap-Wear, a wear leveling algorithm that more evenly distributes writes in NVM. Evaluation results based on the Google Nexus 5 smartphone show that our solution can effectively enhance smartphone performance and give better wear-leveling of NVM.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publication2014 Proceedings of the International Conference on Embedded Software, EMSOFT 2014
PublisherAssociation for Computing Machinery, Inc
ISBN (Electronic)9781450330527
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2014
Event14th International Conference on Embedded Software, EMSOFT 2014 - Jaypee Greens Golf and Spa Resort, New Delhi, India
Duration: 12 Oct 201417 Oct 2014


Conference14th International Conference on Embedded Software, EMSOFT 2014
CityNew Delhi

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Software


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