Lecture 5: Caches, wrap up. Virtual Memory.

Lecture Summary

  • Wrap up Cache

  • Virtual Memory


Types of cache misses, ranged by the amount of delay caused:

  • Cache read miss from instruction cache

  • Cache read miss from data cache

  • Cache write miss to data cache

Reasons for cache misses:

  • Cold (compulsory) miss: Cache is empty

  • Capacity miss: Not enough space

  • Conflict miss: Enough space, a lot of conflicts (and thus replacements)

Common placement policies are:

  • Fully associative (M-way associative, if M blocks in total)

  • K-way associative: Each set fits K blocks

  • Direct mapped (1-way associative)

Here are some comic illustrations for understanding cache basics, cache misses, and cache associativity. Source: CS Illustrated from Berkeley.

General Cache Organization:

  • B: Number of bytes in a cache line (typically 64)

  • E: Number of cache lines/blocks that combine to make up a set (typically 2^{0,1,2,3,4})

  • S: Number of sets that make up the cache

  • T: Total cache size

  • B * E * S = T

Case study: Adding the entries in an N-dimensional matrix

Accessing data with locality gives a huge speedup:

int sum_array_rows(int** a){
    int i, j, sum = 0;
    // Option 1: Accessed with locality
    for (i = 0; i < M; i++)
        for(j = 0; j < N; j++)
            sum += a[i][j];
    // Option 2: Accessed w/o locality
    for (j = 0; j < N; j++)
        for (i = 0; i < M; i++)
            sum += a[i][j];

    return sum;

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