Computer Science Department
School of Computer Science, Carnegie Mellon University


Exposing and Exploiting Internal Parallelism
in MEMS-based storage

Steven W. Schlosser, Jiri Schindler,
Anastassia Ailamaki, Gregory R. Ganger

March 2003

Keywords: MEMS-based storage, MEMS, parallelism, storage interface, database

MEMS-based storage has interesting access parallelism features. Specifically, subsets of a MEMStore’s thousands of tips can be used in parallel, and the particular subset can be dynamically chosen. This paper describes how such access parallelism can be exposed to system software, with minimal changes to system interfaces, and utilized cleanly for two classes of applications. First, background tasks can utilize unused parallelism to access media locations with no impact on foreground activity. Second, two-dimensional data structures, such as dense matrices and relational database tables, can be accessed in both row order and column order with maximum efficiency. With proper table layout, unwanted portions of a table can be skipped while scanning at full speed. Using simulation, we explore performance features of using this device parallelism for an example application from each class.

23 pages

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