Penumbra: Persistence across the Memory Bus

The last decade has seen many breakthroughs in byte-addressable persistent memory (PM) technologies such as phase change memory (PCM), magnetoresistive RAMs (MRAMs), memristors, and various forms of persistent hybrid memories such as NV-DIMMs. The consensus is that these technologies will provide the byte-addressability of DRAM with performance close to that of DRAM, while providing high-capacity, non-volatile storage. These technologies are poised to make their way into storage systems in a few years. Some, such as NV-DIMMs, already have begun market penetration.

The question is: how can software systems, enterprise systems in particular, leverage these technologies to drastically improve application performance? The Penumbra (Persistence across the Memory Bus) project is centered around answering this question. We are interested in building new system infrastructures, and rearchitecting existing ones, with the perspective of exploiting PMs for next generation enterprise systems.

Hardware and Software, Engineered to Work Together