Caching refers to a technique for improving system performance by providing a fast temporary memory between a fast resource, such as a CPU, and a slower resource, such as system RAM.

In practical systems several layers of caching are used. The fastest of these is the L1 cache this is integrated into the CPU chip. The L1 cache connects to the slightly slower L2 cache which in turn communicates with either the L3 cache or system RAM.


The central processing unit (CPU) is the principal component for executes instructions . The CPU is often called the heart of the computer for this reason. In modern computer systems, a good of deal processing is however performed external to the CPU, in graphics cards, peripheral controllers etc. It is also typical in modern systems to have more than one CPU. Where these addition CPUs share a common integrated circuit (chip) the term multiple cores is used. So for example, a quad core refers to four CPUs on a single chip.

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