It’s All About Latency

One of the fundamental properties of computer programming is the wide range of speed, latency, and timing we’re dealing with. This is reflected in a variety of concepts, such as the memory hierarchy. For example, when accessing data there’s several orders of magnitude of difference in access times between processor registers, main memory, paged out memory, the disk, and remote resources.

To complicate matters even further, each of those layers in the memory hierarchy has a growing spectrum of speed differences associated with it. For example, processors have several levels of caching. On chips with many cores, there’s complexity around keeping those caches consistent, by means of communication between cores which introduces ...

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