Glossary keyword - Cache


A cache is a software or hardware component used to store data to enable faster access to that data by future requests. Usually, data stored in a cache occurs either by a copy of data stored or an earlier computation. Whenever requested data is available in a cache, it is known as a cache hit. Whereas, when data doesn't reside in a cache, it is known as a cache miss. In the event of a cache hit, data comes from the cache, which saves time, relative to reading from a slower data source or recomputing a result.

Significance of Cache

An application performs more efficiently if it serves more requests from its cache. For the sake of efficient data use and cost-effectiveness, caches should be relatively small. This is primarily because standard computer applications depend on access to data with a high degree of locality of reference. Access patterns of this sort show spatial and temporal locality. Spatial locality in the sense that requested data resides physically close to data recently accessed. Whiles, the temporal locality is the case in which the required data request is usually frequent.

Applications in Computing

In hardware, the cache is a block of temporary memory storage of data, which will probably be requested again. In this case, the hard disk drive (HDD) and Central Processing Unit of the PC frequently use a cache. Web servers and web browsers make use of the cache. Usually,  a cache consists of a pool of data entries. In this pool, every data set has an associated entry. The data in a cache is a copy of the same data located in a larger backup store. 

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