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Modern Compiler Implementation in C by Maia Ginsburg, Andrew W. Appel

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21

The Memory Hierarchy

mem-o-ry: a device in which information can be inserted and stored and from which it may be extracted when wantedhi-er-ar-chy: a graded or ranked series

Webster’s Dictionary

An idealized random access memory (RAM) has N words indexed by integers such that any word can be fetched or stored – using its integer address – equally quickly. Hardware designers can make a big slow memory, or a small fast memory, but a big fast memory is prohibitively expensive. Also, one thing that speeds up access to memory is its nearness to the ...

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