Central Processing Unit Cache

What Does Central Processing Unit Cache Mean?

Central processing unit cache (CPU cache) is a type of cache memory that a computer processor uses to access data and programs much more quickly than through host memory or random access memory (RAM). It enables storing and providing access to frequently used programs and data.


CPU cache is also known as processor cache.

Techopedia Explains Central Processing Unit Cache

The CPU cache is one of the most commonly used types of cache memory. Typically, the CPU cache is embedded directly on or close to the processor.

When looking for data or a program, the CPU will first check in the CPU cache. The CPU cache generally has less capacity than the main RAM, but due to its better internal structure and close proximity to the CPU, it has faster processing capabilities; thus, it delivers requested data more quickly.

There are three major types of CPU cache:

  • Instruction cache
  • Data cache
  • Translation lookaside buffer (TLB)

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Margaret Rouse is an award-winning technical writer and teacher known for her ability to explain complex technical subjects to a non-technical, business audience. Over the past twenty years her explanations have appeared on TechTarget websites and she's been cited as an authority in articles by the New York Times, Time Magazine, USA Today, ZDNet, PC Magazine and Discovery Magazine.Margaret's idea of a fun day is helping IT and business professionals learn to speak each other’s highly specialized languages. If you have a suggestion for a new definition or how to improve a technical explanation, please email Margaret or contact her…