1;3409;0c Cache Memories

Cache Memories

ACM Computing Surveys, vol. 14, no. 3, 1982
Pages: 473-530DOI: 10.1145/356887.356892



Cache memories are used in modern, medium and high-speed CPUs to hold temporarily those portions of the contents of main memory which are {believed to be) currently in use. Since instructions and data in cache memories can usually be referenced in 10 to 25 percent of the time required to access main memory, cache memories permit the executmn rate of the machine to be substantially increased. In order to function effectively, cache memories must be carefully designed and implemented. In this paper, we explain the various aspects of cache memorms and discuss in some detail the design features and trade-offs. A large number of original, trace-driven simulation results are presented. Consideration is given to practical implementatmn questions as well as to more abstract design issues. Specific aspects of cache memories that are investigated include: the cache fetch algorithm (demand versus prefetch), the placement and replacement algorithms, line size, store-through versus copy-back updating of main memory, cold-start versus warm-start miss ratios, mulhcache consistency, the effect of input/output through the cache, the behavior of split data/instruction caches, and cache size. Our discussion includes other aspects of memory system architecture, including translation lookaside buffers. Throughout the paper, we use as examples the implementation of the cache in the Amdahl 470V/6 and 470V/7, the IBM 3081, 3033, and 370/168, and the DEC VAX 11/780. An extensive bibliography is provided