DATE: Friday, October 14, 2011 - NOTE SPECIAL DAY
TIME: Noon to 1 pm
CIC - 4th floor (ISTC Panther Hollow) - NOTE ROOM LOCATION

SPEAKER: Mike Swift, University of Wisconsin, Madison

TITLE: Making Device Access Less Peripheral

Supporting peripheral devices, once a motivation for creating operating systems, has received little attention from the research community. However, device access, whether for storage, networking, or graphics, is a major source of complexity, unreliability, and cost for modern operating systems.

In this talk, I will present two approaches to treating device access as a first-class topic. First, we investigated the reliability of device drivers in the presence of faulty devices and found there are many drivers that will crash or hang when a device fails. We address this problem with Carburizer, a code-manipulation tool and associated runtime that detects and repairs such bugs.

I will then discuss our work on storage devices that support direct access by applications. New storage-class memory (SCM) technologies, such as phase-change memory, promise user-level access to non-volatile storage through regular memory instructions. We built Mnemosyne, a simple interface for programming with persistent memory that addresses two challenges: how to create and manage such memory, and how to ensure consistency in the presence of failures.

Mike Swift is an assistant professor at the University of Wisconsin, Madison. His research focuses on the hardware/operating system boundary, including devices drivers, new processor/memory technologies, and transactional memory. He grew up in Amherst, Massachusetts and received a B.A. from Cornell University in 1992. After college, he worked at Microsoft in the Windows group, where he implemented authentication and access control functionality in Windows Cairo, Windows NT, and Windows 2000. He received a Ph.D. on operating system reliability from the University of Washington in 2006.

VISITOR HOST: Dave Andersen


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