The Flipside: A Bit Flip Saved is Power and Lifetime Earned

Appeared in ;login: 44(2).


We have an opportunity to rethink, from scratch, the design of our data structures. New byte-addressable non-volatile memory (BNVM) technologies promise the construction of systems with large persistent memories, potentially improving reliability and per- formance. With these technologies come new characteristics that deviate from those of flash and spinning disk—and with new characteristics come new optimization goals. In particular, the read/write cost disparity and fine granularity of updates allows us to save power and wear by reducing the bits flipped during writes to memory. Targeting these optimizations by formu- lating new data structure design and implementation strategies instead of relying on existing ideas will be vital for BNVM technology to reach its full potential. We modified a full-system simulator to count bit flips during program operation, opening the door for future research to design, construct, and evaluate data structures for these new goals.

Publication date:
June 2019

Daniel Bittman
Peter Alvaro
Darrell D. E. Long
Ethan L. Miller

Storage Class Memories

Available media

Full paper text: PDF

Bibtex entry

  author       = {Daniel Bittman and Peter Alvaro and Darrell D. E. Long and Ethan L. Miller},
  title        = {The Flipside: A Bit Flip Saved is Power and Lifetime Earned},
  journal      = {;login:},
  pages        = {27-31},
  volume       = {44},
  number       = {2},
  month        = jun,
  year         = {2019},
Last modified 28 Jun 2021