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[ The PC Guide | Systems and Components Reference Guide | Motherboard and System Devices | System Cache | Cache Characteristics ]

Transactional or Non-Blocking Cache

Most caches can only handle one outstanding request at a time. If a request is made to the cache and there is a miss, the cache must wait for the memory to supply the value that was needed, and until then it is "blocked". A non-blocking cache has the ability to work on other requests while waiting for memory to supply any misses.

The Intel Pentium Pro and Pentium II processors use this technology for their level 2 caches, which can manage up to four simultaneous requests. This is done by using a transaction-based architecture, and a dedicated "backside" bus for the cache that is independent of the main memory bus. Intel calls this "dual independent bus" (DIB) architecture.

Next: Cache Transfer Technologies and Timing

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