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Intel Adds Capability To Linux 5.9 For NVDIMM Firmware Updates Without Reboots

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  • Intel Adds Capability To Linux 5.9 For NVDIMM Firmware Updates Without Reboots

    Phoronix: Intel Adds Capability To Linux 5.9 For NVDIMM Firmware Updates Without Reboots

    For Intel NVDIMMs like DC Persistent Memory there is support on the way with Linux 5.9 to support firmware updates to the non-volatile memory device without the need for a system reboot...

    http://www.phoronix.com/scan.php?pag...W-Activate-5.9

  • #2
    Very cool. I imagine some day, the need of discrete RAM and storage will go away. It's interesting to think about, because if done properly, it could revolutionize computing. Data could just be read directly from the NVDIMM, so there is effectively no loading process at all; the CPU grabs the instructions straight from the source, when it needs it.

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    • #3
      My worry with these sorts of devices has always been that, if they become ubiquitous, developers will get lazy and not implement/test code for serializing in-memory structures to disk, and then I'll be stuck with applications where "It's misbehaving. Save, restart, and load to shake the bugs out of the in-memory data structures not concerned with the data itself" isn't an option.

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      • #4
        Originally posted by ssokolow View Post
        My worry with these sorts of devices has always been that, if they become ubiquitous, developers will get lazy and not implement/test code for serializing in-memory structures to disk, and then I'll be stuck with applications where "It's misbehaving. Save, restart, and load to shake the bugs out of the in-memory data structures not concerned with the data itself" isn't an option.
        That's already happened, so you are behind the wave there.

        For example, and as far as I know, Redis saves its data by doing a fork() and the new child copies its data structures directly from memory to disk.

        There are also applications that work by opening a shared memory mapped file and using it as memory.

        Applications like that can use double entry journaling, much like sqlite. Or they can wing it, and have a fdisk/chkdsk sort of verification step to look for anything that is out of order and recover or discard it.

        I believe that Intel developers have a couple of libraries intended to help with this sort of thing. They've been focusing on NVDIMM / PMEM as a future technology for several years now.

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        • #5
          Originally posted by Zan Lynx View Post

          That's already happened, so you are behind the wave there.
          Note that I said "data structures not concerned with the data itself" as in "I worry that this will encourage developers less competent than the Emacs developers to make hibernate-to-disk their shutdown/startup mechanism".

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