Linked by Thom Holwerda on Sun 14th Apr 2013 20:30 UTC
Hardware, Embedded Systems "In the past five years, flash memory has progressed from a promising accelerator, whose place in the data center was still uncertain, to an established enterprise component for storing performance-critical data. It's rise to prominence followed its proliferation in the consumer world and the volume economics that followed. With SSDs, flash arrived in a form optimized for compatibility - just replace a hard drive with an SSD for radically better performance. But the properties of the NAND flash memory used by SSDs differ significantly from those of the magnetic media in the hard drives they often displace. While SSDs have become more pervasive in a variety of uses, the industry has only just started to design storage systems that embrace the nuances of flash memory. As it escapes the confines of compatibility, significant improvements in performance, reliability, and cost are possible."
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RE: Comment by TempleOS
by ssokolow on Mon 15th Apr 2013 01:36 UTC in reply to "Comment by TempleOS"
ssokolow
Member since:
2010-01-21

When the fundamental storage changes from volitile to nonvolitile, a new reality exists and everything changes. The old operating systems can obviously treat it conventionally, but the potential for a big improvement will be there until a new operating system is designed.


Why would we go from volatile to non-volatile?

Flash memory can't be used as RAM. It can only be erased a limited number of times before wearing out and there's no quicker way to accidentally wear out flash memory than to put a swap partition on it.

Even if that weren't the case and we could use Flash memory as RAM, we've already got functionality along the lines you're thinking of in the Linux kernel.

(For example, the ext2 filesystem driver has had "execute in place" support for memory-constrained, flash-based mobile devices for years and there's also mmap() for userspace apps. There's a smooth migration path to be made when we're ready for it.)

Edited 2013-04-15 01:40 UTC

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