Amber: Enabling Precise Full-System Simulation with Detailed Modeling of All SSD Resources

Published in The 51st Annual IEEE/ACM International Symposium on Microarchitecture (MICRO), 2018

SSDs become a major storage component in modern memory hierarchies, and SSD research demands exploring future simulation-based studies by integrating SSD subsystems into a full-system environment. However, several challenges exist to model SSDs under a full-system simulations; SSDs are composed upon their own complete system and architecture, which employ all necessary hardware, such as CPUs, DRAM and interconnect network. Employing the hardware components, SSDs also require to have multiple device controllers, internal caches and software modules that respect a wide spectrum of storage interfaces and protocols. These SSD hardware and software are all necessary to incarnate storage subsystems under full-system environment, which can operate in parallel with the host system. In this work, we introduce a new SSD simulation framework, SimpleSSD 2.0, namely Amber, that models embedded CPU cores, DRAMs, and various flash technologies (within an SSD), and operate under the full system simulation environment by enabling a data transfer emulation. Amber also includes full firmware stack, including DRAM cache logic, flash firmware, such as FTL and HIL, and obey diverse standard protocols by revising the host DMA engines and system buses of a popular full system simulator’s all functional and timing CPU models (gem5). The proposed simulator can capture the details of dynamic performance and power of embedded cores, DRAMs, firmware and flash under the executions of various OS systems and hardware platforms. Using Amber, we characterize several system-level challenges by simulating different types of full-systems, such as mobile devices and general-purpose computers, and offer comprehensive analyses by comparing passive storage and active storage architectures.

Paper download

Recommended citation: Gouk, Donghyun, Miryeong Kwon, Jie Zhang, Sungjoon Koh, Wonil Choi, Nam Sung Kim, Mahmut Kandemir, and Myoungsoo Jung. “Amber*: Enabling precise full-system simulation with detailed modeling of all SSD resources.” In 2018 51st Annual IEEE/ACM International Symposium on Microarchitecture (MICRO), pp. 469-481. IEEE, 2018.