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Computers as Components, 3rd Edition by Marilyn Wolf

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3.5 Memory System Mechanisms

Modern microprocessors do more than just read and write a monolithic memory. Architectural features improve both the speed and capacity of memory systems. Microprocessor clock rates are increasing at a faster rate than memory speeds, such that memories are falling further and further behind microprocessors every day. As a result, computer architects resort to caches to increase the average performance of the memory system. Although memory capacity is increasing steadily, program sizes are increasing as well, and designers may not be willing to pay for all the memory demanded by an application. Memory management units (MMUs) perform address translations that provide a larger virtual memory space in a small physical ...

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