![if !IE]> <![endif]>
Logical versus physical caches
Cache memory can be located either side of a memory management unit and use either physical or logical addresses as its tag data. In terms of performance, the location of the cache can dramatically affect system performance. With a logical cache, the tag information refers to the logical addresses currently in use by the executing task. If the task is switched out during a context switch, the cache tags are no longer valid and the cache, together with its often hard-won data must be flushed and cleared. The processor must now go to main memory to fetch the first instruc-tions and wait until the second iteration before any benefit is obtained from the cache. However, cache accesses do not need to go through the MMU and do not suffer from any associated delay.
Physical caches use physical addresses, do not need flush-ing on a context switch and therefore data is preserved within the cache. The disadvantage is that all accesses must go through the memory management unit, thus incurring delays. Particular care must also be exercised when pages are swapped to and from disk.
If the processor does not invalidate any associated cache entries, the cache contents will be different from the main memory con-tents by virtue of the new page that has been swapped in.
Of the two systems, physical caches are more efficient, providing the cache coherency problem is solved and MMU delays are kept to a minimum. RISC architectures like the PowerPC solve the MMU delay issue by coupling the MMU with the cache system. An MMU translation is performed in conjunction with the cache look up so that the translation delay overlaps the memory access and is reduced to zero. This system combines the speed advantages of a logical cache with the data efficiency of a physical cache.
Most internal caches are now designed to use the physical address (notable exceptions are some implementations of the SPARC architecture which use logical internal caches).
Copyright © 2018-2023 BrainKart.com; All Rights Reserved. Developed by Therithal info, Chennai.