Cache is a type of computer memory used to temporarily store data that is frequently accessed, so it can be rapidly accessed by the processor. This helps speed up the performance of the computer since the processor does not need to wait for the data to come from a slower storage device.
Cache memory is typically located in a processor on the computer’s motherboard, or in the RAM (Random Access Memory) itself. It is small in comparison to the other types of memory and is typically composed of very high speed SRAM (Static Random Access Memory). Over time, cache memory has evolved to take on a number of different forms, such as on-die, multi-level, dual, multicore, etc.
Generally, cache memory comes in three sizes: L1, L2 and L3. L1 cache is the smallest size and contains the most frequently requested data and instructions. L2 cache is larger and holds data that was requested more recently. It is also known as the secondary cache. L3 cache is the largest size and contains data that is requested less frequently.
Cache memory is very important to the performance of a computer. As a result, most computer processors now incorporate some form of cache memory into their designs. In addition, some operating systems will include a cache manager, which helps to automatically manage the cache memory to improve system performance.