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Using MEMS-based storage in computer systems---MEMS storage architectures


As an emerging nonvolatile secondary storage technology, MEMS-based storage exhibits several desirable properties including high performance, high storage volumic density, low power consumption, low entry cost, and small form factor. However, MEMS-based storage provides a limited amount of storage per device and is likely to be more expensive than magnetic disk. Systems designers will therefore need to make trade-offs to achieve well-balanced designs. We present an architecture in which MEMS devices are organized into MEMS storage enclosures with online spares. Such enclosures are proven to be highly reliable storage building bricks with no maintenance during their economic lifetimes. We also demonstrate the effectiveness of using MEMS as another layer in the storage hierarchy, bridging the cost and performance gap between MEMS storage and disk. We show that using MEMS as a disk cache can significantly improve system performance and cost-performance ratio. © 2006 ACM.

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