Demystifying CXL Memory with Genuine CXL-Ready Systems and Devices

CXL memory module overview


The high demand for memory capacity in modern datacenters has led to multiple lines of innovation in memory expansion and disaggregation. One such effort is Compute eXpress Link (CXL)-based memory expansion, which has gained significant attention. To better leverage CXL memory, researchers have built several emulation and experimental platforms to study its behavior and characteristics. However, due to the lack of commercial hardware supporting CXL memory, the full picture of its capabilities may still be unclear to the community. In this work, we explore CXL memory’s performance characterization on a state-of-the-art experimental platform. First, we study the basic performance characteristics of CXL memory using our proposed microbenchmark. Based on our observations and comparisons to standard DRAM connected to local and remote NUMA nodes, we also study the impact of CXL memory on end-to-end applications with different offloading and interleaving policies. Finally, we provide several guidelines for future programmers to realized the full potential of CXL memory.

arXiv Preprint
Ipoom Jeong
Ipoom Jeong
Assistant Professor

My research interests include CPU/GPU microarchitectures, memory/storage system designs, and smart-I/O devices