• Unit 6: The Memory Hierarchy

    In prior units, you have studied elementary hardware components like combinational circuits and sequential circuits, functional hardware components like adders, arithmetic logical units, and data buses, and computational components like processors.

    This unit will address the memory hierarchy of a computer and will identify different types of memory and how they interact with one another. This unit will look into a memory type known as cache and will discuss how caches improve computer performance. This unit will then discuss the main memory, DRAM (or the Dynamic Random Access Memory), and the associated concept of virtual memory. You will take a look at the common framework for memory hierarchy. The unit concludes with a review of the design of a cache hierarchy for an industrial microprocessor.

    Completing this unit should take you approximately 8 hours.

    • 6.1: Elements of Memory Hierarchy and Caches

    • 6.2: Cache Architectures and Improving Cache Performance

    • 6.3: Main Memory and Virtual Memory

    • 6.4: Performance Tuning

    • Unit 6 Assessment