Cache memory

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Cache memory:

Cache memory October 16, 2007 By: Tatsiana Gomova

The memory hierarchy:

The memory hierarchy Cache memory has the fastest access time after registers.

Why is cache memory needed?:

Why is cache memory needed? When a program references a memory location, it is likely to reference that same memory location again soon. A memory location that is near a recently referenced location is more likely to be referenced then a memory location that is farther away.

Why is cache memory needed:

Why is cache memory needed A small but fast cache memory, in which the contents of the most commonly accessed locations are maintained, can be placed between the CPU and the main memory. When a program executes, the cache memory is searched first.

Why is cache memory fast?:

Why is cache memory fast? Faster electronics used A cache memory has fewer locations than a main memory, which reduces the access time The cache is placed both physically closer and logically closer the the CPU than the main memory

Why is cache memory fast:

Why is cache memory fast This cacheless computer usually needs a few bus cycles to synchronize the CPU with the bus. A cache memory can be positioned closer to the CPU.

Cache mapping :

Cache mapping Commonly used methods: Associative Mapped Cache Direct-Mapped Cache Set-Associative Mapped Cache

Associative Mapped Cache:

Associative Mapped Cache Any main memory blocks can be mapped into each cache slot. To keep track of which on of the 2 27 possible blocks is in each slot, a 27-bit tag field is added to each slot.

Associative Mapped Cache:

Associative Mapped Cache Valid bit is needed to indicate whether or not the slot holds a line that belongs to the program being executed. Dirty bit keeps track of whether or not a line has been modified while it is in the cache.

Associative Mapped Cache:

Associative Mapped Cache The mapping from main memory blocks to cache slots is performed by partitioning an address into fields. For each slot, if the valid bit is 1, then the tag field of the referenced address is compared with the tag field of the slot.

Associative Mapped Cache:

Associative Mapped Cache How an access to the memory location (A035F014) 16 is mapped to the cache. If the addressed word is in the cache, it will be found in word (14) 16 of a slot that has a tag of (501AF80) 16 , which is made up of the 27 most significant bits of the address.

Associative Mapped Cache:

Associative Mapped Cache Advantages Any main memory block can be placed into any cache slot. Regardless of how irregular the data and program references are, if a slot is available for the block, it can be stored in the cache.

Associative Mapped Cache:

Associative Mapped Cache Disadvantages Considerable hardware overhead needed for cache bookkeeping. There must be a mechanism for searching the tag memory in parallel.

Direct-Mapped Cache:

Direct-Mapped Cache Each cache slot corresponds to an explicit set of main memory. In our example we have 2 27 memory blocks and 2 14 cache slots. A total of 2 27 / 2 14 = 2 13 main memory blocks can be mapped onto each cache slot.

Direct-Mapped Cache:

Direct-Mapped Cache The 32-bit main memory address is partitioned into a 13-bit tag field, followed by a 14-bit slot field, followed by a five-bit word field.

Direct-Mapped Cache:

Direct-Mapped Cache When a reference is made to the main memory address, the slot field identifies in which of the 2 14 slots the block will be found. If the valid bit is 1, then the tag field of the referenced address is compared with the tag field of the slot.

Direct-Mapped Cache:

Direct-Mapped Cache How an access to memory location (A035F014) 16 is mapped to the cache. If the addressed word is in the cache, it will be found in word (14) 16 of slot (2F80) 16 which will have a tag of (1406) 16 .

Direct-Mapped Cache:

Direct-Mapped Cache Advantages The tag memory is much smaller than in associative mapped cache. No need for an associative search, since the slot field is used to direct the comparison to a single field.

Direct-Mapped Cache:

Direct-Mapped Cache Disadvantages Consider what happens when a program references locations that are 2 19 words apart, which is the size of the cache. Every memory reference will result in a miss, which will cause an entire block to be read into the cache even though only a single word is used.

Set-Associative Mapped Cache:

Set-Associative Mapped Cache Combines the simplicity of direct mapping with the flexibility of associative mapping For this example, two slots make up a set. Since there are 2 14 slots in the cache, there are 2 14 /2 =2 13 sets.

Set-Associative Mapped Cache:

Set-Associative Mapped Cache When an address is mapped to a set, the direct mapping scheme is used, and then associative mapping is used within a set.

Set-Associative Mapped Cache:

Set-Associative Mapped Cache The format for an address has 13 bits in the set field, which identifies the set in which the addressed word will be found. Five bits are used for the word field and 14-bit tag field.

Set-Associative Mapped Cache:

Set-Associative Mapped Cache Consider again the address (A035F014) 16

Set-Associative Mapped Cache:

Set-Associative Mapped Cache Advantages In our example the tag memory increases only slightly from the direct mapping and only two tags need to be searched for each memory reference. The set-associative cache is widely used in today’s microprocessors.

Cache Performance:

Cache Performance Cache read and write policies

Cache Performance:

Cache Performance As to which cache read or write policies are best, there is no simple answer. The organization of a cache is optimized for each computer architecture and the mix of programs that the computer executes.

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