We are currently observing a wave of innovations in the field of memory that nullify these assumptions and, in this sense, are disruptive for the entire software industry and various sub-domains of computer science. For example, current server processors allow the use of non-volatile main memory modules with a low price and very high capacity. An increasing number of embedded computer systems is also being equipped with non-volatile memories, e.g. on the basis of FRAM technology. In the area of high-performance computing, there are platforms with hybrid memories that combine extremely fast “high-bandwidth memories” with classic memory modules. Intensive research and development is also being done on “in-memory” and “near-memory” computing approaches, which abandon the traditional Von Neumann architecture. They allow a large number of parallel operations on data objects in or close to the memory with an enormous potential for performance improvements.
Overall, these and other ongoing innovations in main memory technology promise various improvements for all computer systems, for example lower energy consumption, higher processing power, more reliability, and simplifications and thus cost reductions. However, how to make use of all these new possibilities for existing and future software and thus overall systems, is largely unclear.
Coordinator: Prof. Dr.-Ing. Olaf Spinczyk, Osnabrück University, Embedded Software Systems Group