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Improving Performance by Changing Paging

Category: Science & Technology
Posted: 02:19PM

Computer technology has changed rapidly over the past decades, and while current hardware may not much resemble its predecessors, it is still using some of the same systems. Those systems may still work, but they were designed for a very different situation, and now what enabled performance in the past may be hindering it now. As reported by the National Science Foundation, the paging system for mapping data in memory is one such legacy system, and changing it could have large impacts on large tech companies.

Paging algorithms were created to allow programs to be addressed in memory in a noncontiguous way. When you have a limited amount of memory this is very valuable, but as RAM has increased in size, it has become less important. Its ability to address data and processes now adds complexity to computers that is not always necessary, and that takes up some resources. For a personal computer, those lost resources may not be enough to be noticed, but for large companies running server banks, the nanoseconds lost could be worth millions of dollars.

The researchers have already developed a new system that is more selective, so it will only use paging when needed. This could potentially return not only those nanoseconds but could also allow for increased performance for virtual memory and GPUs.

Source: National Science Foundation

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