Hardware

Online Memory Compression for Embedded Systems

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Executive Summary

Memory is a scarce resource during embedded system design. Increasing memory often increases packaging costs, cooling costs, size, and power consumption. This paper presents CRAMES, a novel and efficient software-based RAM compression technique for embedded systems. The goal of CRAMES is to dramatically increase effective memory capacity without hardware or application design changes, while maintaining high performance and low energy consumption. To achieve this goal, CRAMES takes advantage of an operating system's virtual memory infrastructure by storing swapped-out pages in compressed format. It dynamically adjusts the size of the compressed RAM area, protecting applications capable of running without it from performance or energy consumption penalties.

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