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What Every Programmer Should Know About Memory

What Every Programmer Should Know About Memory

What Every Programmer Should Know About Memory

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Year:2007
Publisher:Red Hat Inc
Pages:114 pages
Language:english
Since:04/11/2013
Size:898 KB
License:Pending review

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As CPU cores become both faster and more numerous, the limiting factor for most programs is now, and will be for some time, memory access. Hardware designers have come up with ever more sophisticated memory handling and acceleration techniques–such as CPU caches–but these cannot work optimally without some help from the programmer. Unfortunately, neither the structure nor the cost of using the memory subsystem of a computer or the caches on CPUs is well understood by most programmers. This paper explains the structure of memory subsystems in use on modern commodity hardware, illustrating why CPU caches were developed, how they work, and what programs should do to achieve optimal performance by utilizing them.

This document is mostly for software developers. It does not go into enough technical details of the hardware to be useful for hardware-oriented readers. But before we can go into the practical information for developers a lot of groundwork must be laid.

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