Cache Memory (L1, L2, L3): The fastest memory

cache memory

In this section we are going to learn about cache memory and it”s different types.

Intoduction of cache memory

Besides primary memory, a computer also has another memory which is called cache Pronounce as ‘cash’) memory. The access time of main memory (RAM) is not very high in comparison to the processing speed of CPU. CPU has to wait for a long period if it should fetch data and instruction from main memory for execution which causes the slowdown in performance. This problem is overcome by using a high-speed memory called cache memory.

Cache memory is the fastest memory inside computer system which is a small memory chin placed between CPU and main memory whose access time is closer to the processing speed of the CPU. It acts as a high-speed buffer between CPU and main memory. It is used to temporarily store currently active data and instruction during processing. Since the cache memory is faster than main memory, the processing speed is increased by making data and instruction necessary for current processing available to the CPU at a rapid time.

cache memory.

In the above figure, we can see that cache memory is placed between main memory and CPU which keeps balance between the fast speed CPU and slow speed memory. It is also made up of semiconductor chips. It is volatile and its contents can be accessed randomly.

Many modern computer systems are also designed to have multiple levels of caches ( such as Level 1, Level 2 and Level 3 caches), and often they are referred to as L1, L2 and L3 caches.

L1 Cache Memory

L1 cache is smaller than L2 cache and it is the fastest cache and it usually comes within the processor chip itself and is used to store more frequently accessed instruction and data as compared to those in the L2 cache. The LI cache typically is smaller in size than other caches and uses the high-speed SRAM (Static RAM). The Intel Centrino processor uses two separate L1 and L2 caches, one for the instructions and one for the data.

L2 Cache Memory

L2 cache comes between L1 and L3 cache and has higher capacity than L3 cache but has less capability than L1 cache.he L2 cache feeds the L1 cache, which feeds the processor. L2 memory is slower than L1 memory. 

L3 Cache Memory

L3 cache is not available in all computers. Only in some modern computers, L3 cache are found on the motherboard rather than in the processor. If L3 cache is absent in any compute system, then L2 cache is placed in motherboard and L1 cache is placed inside CPU. If L1, L2 and L3 cache are available with a computer system, then L1 and L2 are placed within CPU an L3 cache is in mother board. Although it is slower than L1 and L2 cache, but it is still faster than RAM.

Read more : Computer Memory

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