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Unformatted text preview: Management
As we have noted, the essence of the memory hierarchy is that the storage device at each level is a cache for the next lower level. At each level, some form of logic must manage the cache. By this we mean that something has to partition the cache storage into blocks, transfer blocks between different levels, decide when there are hits and misses, and then deal with them. The logic that manages the cache can be hardware, software, or a combination of the two. For example, the compiler manages the register ﬁle, the highest level of the cache hierarchy. It decides when to issue loads when there are misses, and determines which register to store the data in. The caches at levels L1 and L2 are managed entirely by hardware logic built into the caches. In a system with virtual memory, the DRAM main memory serves as a cache for data blocks stored on disk, and is managed by a combination of operating system software and address translation hardware on the CPU. For a machine with a distribute...
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