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Memory Systems by David Wang, Spencer Ng, Bruce Jacob

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CHAPTER 1

An Overview of Cache Principles

A cache (also called “look-aside” [Bloom et al. 1962] or “slave memory” [Wilkes 1965]) can speed up accesses to all manners of storage devices, including tape drives, disk drives, main memory, servers on the network (e.g., web servers are a type of storage device), and even other caches. It works on the principle of locality of reference, the tendency of applications to reference a predictably small amount of data within a given window of time [Belady 1966, Denning 1970]. Any storage device can be characterized by its access time and cost per bit, where faster storage technologies tend to have a lower access time and cost more per bit than slower technologies. A cache fronting a given storage device ...

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