What is Cache Memory in Computer and Types of Cache Memory

Nuelson Penuel Saturday, September 17, 2022 Technology

Just like human, memory is very important in computer devices because it enables the computer to save data, programs, applications, files and instructions for either temporary or permanent use. In one of our great articles, we discussed in detail what computer memory means and also list the different types. Therefore, if you have not read about our computer memory post, then we advice you read this overview of computer memory to know about computer memory and its types. Cache Memory A cache memory is a volatile memory installed in the computer motherboard that is used to store data, programs and applications that are routinely requested by the system's CPU. It makes the retrieval of these data, programs or applications faster upon request by the CPU.
what is cache memory
In other words, it acts as a buffer between the main memory and the CPU. In addition, for data, programs and applications to be easily retrieved the Operating System have to transfer parts of the data, programs and applications from disk to the cache memory where the CPU can access them very fast.

Types of Cache Memory

Different types of cache memory we have are: Level 1(L1) or primary cache memory, Level 2 (L2) or secondary cache memory and Level 3 (L3) cache memory. 1. Level 1 (L1) Cache or Primary Cache This type of cache memory is very fast compared to Level 2 cache memory but however, it has a small size between the range of 2kB to 64kB depending on the computer processor. When the CPU want to search for any information, the first target is the L1 cache and if the information is not found before going to L2 cache memory. Level 2 (L2) Cache or Secondary Cache This type of cache memory has a more storage capacity compared to the L1 Cache memory and more slower than the L1 in terms of speed of data delivering to the CPU. Its size is usually between 256kB to 512kB. The L2 cache memory is only brought to use if the instructions needed by the CPU could not be found in L1. It has a high speed system that connects the cache and microprocessor. Level 3 (L3) Cache or Main Memory The L2 is slower than L1 and L2 because it has more storage space that is between 1MB to 8MB than the L1 and L2 cache.

Advantages of Cache Memory

The following are some advantages of cache memory:
  1. Data retrieval from cache memory is faster than the main memory.
  2. It reduce the length of access time compared to the primary memory
  3. It helps to boost the CPU speed and it's performance.
  4. It only stores programs that can be executed in a short interval

Disadvantages of Cache Memory

Some of the disadvantages of this type of memory are as follows:
  1. It has a limited storage capacity
  2. It is very expensive

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