An NVM Carol: Visions of NVM Past, Present, and Future


Around 2010, we observed significant research activity around the development of non-volatile memory technologies. Shortly thereafter, other research communities began considering the implications of non-volatile memory on system design, from storage systems to data management solutions to entire systems. Finally, in July 2015, Intel and Micron Technology announced 3D XPoint. Today, there remains much excitement, but surprisingly less impact in practice. We can view non-volatile memory technology and its impact on systems through a historical lens revealing it as the convergence of several past research trends starting with the concept of single-level store, encompassing the 1980's hype around bubble memory, building upon persistent object systems, and leveraging recent work in transactional memory. We present this historical context, recalling past ideas that seem particularly relevant and potentially applicable and highlighting aspects that are particularly novel.


Short Bio: 

MARGO I. SELTZER is Canada 150 Research Chair in Computer Systems and the Cheriton Family chair in Computer Science at the University of British Columbia. Her research interests are in systems, construed quite broadly: systems for capturing and accessing data provenance, file systems, databases, transaction processing systems, storage and analysis of graph-structured data, new architectures for parallelizing execution, and systems that apply technology to problems in healthcare.

Dr. Seltzer was a co-founder and CTO of Sleepycat Software, the makers of Berkeley DB, recipient of the 2020 ACM SIGMOD Systems Award and the ACM Software Systems Award. She serves on the Computer Science and Telecommunications Board (CSTB) of the (US) National Academies. She is a member of the National Academy of Engineering, a Sloan Foundation Fellow in Computer Science, an ACM Fellow, a Bunting Fellow, and was the recipient of the 1996 Radcliffe Junior Faculty Fellowship. She is recognized as an outstanding teacher and mentor, having received the Phi Beta Kappa teaching award in 1996, the Abrahmson Teaching Award in 1999, the Capers and Marion McDonald Award for Excellence in Mentoring and Advising in 2010, and the CRA-E Undergraduate Research Mentoring Award in 2017.

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