Cache Memory

Cache memory is a very fast type of memory that allows specific functions to be performed to improve the overall performance of machines such as computers, smartphones and tablets.

Unlike other memories, cache memory does not store information: its role is to store the information most frequently used by software and applications when they are active. This direct access determines the performance of a program, because it saves incessant exchanges between the processor and the random access memory (RAM).

The cache memory is organized in three levels, with increasing storage capacity: level 1 cache (L1), level 2 cache (L2), and level 3 cache (L3).

Cache Memory Levels

LevelProperties
Level 1 (L1)The level 1 (L1) cache is built into the processor (CPU). It is very fast, but its storage capacity is small.
Level 2 (L2)The level 2 cache memory (L2) has a larger storage capacity than L1. It can be integrated either in the processor or on the motherboard with a high speed link by computer bus to the central processor.
Level 3 (L3)The level 3 (L3) cache is slower than the previous ones. However, it has a higher storage capacity. In general, it is used to improve the performance of L1 and L2, especially in processors with a multi-core architecture. Each core has its own L1 and L2 cache, while the L3 is pooled.