Memory - Hierarchy


A memory/storage hierarchy in computer storage distinguishes each level in the hierarchy by:

The transfer of memory from primary storage to secondary storage is done through virtual memory.

Storage levels

There are three major storage levels


Primary Storage:

  • the main memory system RAM and controller cards – may take hundreds of cycles, but can be multiple gigabytes. Access times may not be uniform, in the case of a NUMA machine.


Secondary storage and On-line mass storage principally Disk storage – millions of cycles latency if not cached, but very large


Tertiary and Off-line bulk storage - several seconds latency, can be huge

Documentation / Reference

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