Algorithms for Hardware Caches and TLB

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Abstract

Over the last 20 years or so CPU clock rates have grown explosively, and CPUs with clock rates exceeding 2 GHz are now available in the mass market. Unfortunately, the speed of main memory has not increased as rapidly: today’s main memory typically has a latency of about 60 ns. This implies that the cost of accessing main memory can be 120 times greater than the cost of performing an operation on data which are in the CPU’s registers. Since the driving force behind CPU technology is speed and that behind memory technology is storage capacity, this trend is likely to continue. Researchers have long been aware of the importance of reducing the number of accesses to main memory in order to avoid having the CPU wait for data.