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Memory Systems by David Wang, Spencer Ng, Bruce Jacob

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OVERVIEW: On Memory Systems and Their Design

Memory is essential to the operation of a computer system, and nothing is more important to the development of the modern memory system than the concept of the memory hierarchy. While a flat memory system built of a single technology is attractive for its simplicity, a well-implemented hierarchy allows a memory system to approach simultaneously the performance of the fastest component, the cost per bit of the cheapest component, and the energy consumption of the most energy-efficient component.

For years, the use of a memory hierarchy has been very convenient, in that it has simplified the process of designing memory systems. The use of a hierarchy allowed designers to treat system design as a modularized ...

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