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What is the cache and what is it for? Explained

Cache memory is used to reduce the average time to access data from the Main memory.

The cache is a technology developed for various electronic components to get the data they need as quickly as possible. The word cache is directly associated with “memory” since it is the fastest volatile memory of the system in which it is integrated. In this way, a computer’s cache (often called CPU cache) is faster than storage (either HDD or SSD) and RAM. Being a volatile memory, the data is lost once it stops providing power (that is when the equipment is turned off).

Cache memory is implemented in all existing electronic devices, and it exists at the hardware level and at the software level. After all, it is a resource that allows you to store the most frequent data requested by the various components and is characterized by its low storage capacity. Due to its construction, the cache memory is faster the less capacity it has, and that is why it should be used only to store the most frequent resources used by the device. For example, in the CPU cache, we can find up to 3 different levels today, each with its own unique purpose, size, and speed.

Cache memory is used to reduce the average time to access data from the Main memory.

At the hardware level, we find the CPU cache as the most important, and at the software level, we have the system cache and the web cache, although there are many other types of cache that we will not go into detail about. Being a resource used to facilitate access to small data packets, it can be used by numerous components that require very fast input/output instructions, and are usually also essential. That said, the cache is a system resource that speeds up data lookups.

what is the purpose of cache memory?

Cache memory serves as very low-capacity, high-speed storage for data frequently used by electronic devices. In general, resources that are often used are stored in the cache, usually, light data and instructions that arise from the extrapolation of the system. In the CPU cache, for example, data is stored in different levels of this memory depending on what the processor has requested, immediately afterward a routine is responsible for extrapolating the data obtained and examining which ones may be requested by the processor. the processor in the next instructions. This extrapolated data is stored in one of the levels of the CPU cache, depending on its importance and frequency of use., and are then discriminated based on whether or not they have been used in future instructions.

The utility of the cache, in general terms, is to provide a very small and fast data storage for some computer element (whether hardware or software), that is, it acts as an intermediary between the applicant (usually the CPU) and the data repository. data (RAM or storage units), the cache being much faster than these other information repositories.

It is difficult to explain a general use of the cache since there are many different types of cache, as we have already mentioned before, but if there is one, it is the one that we have commented on in the previous paragraph.

By containing frequently used information (or the result of inferences about the last requested data), the cache serves to speed up this search process in general storage, being thousands of times faster than any SATA SSD on the market, in the case of caches L1 and L2 CPUs. To this is also added its low latency, considered negligible, as a remarkable characteristic of cache memory.

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