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Translation Look aside buffer

Drawbacks of Paging

  1. Size of Page table can be very big and therefore it wastes main memory.
  2. CPU will take more time to read a single word from the main memory.

How to decrease the page table size

  1. The page table size can be decreased by increasing the page size but it will cause internal fragmentation and there will also be page wastage.
  2. Other way is to use multilevel paging but that increases the effective access time therefore this is not a practical approach.

How to decrease the effective access time

  1. CPU can use a register having the page table stored inside it so that the access time to access page table can become quite less but the register are not cheaper and they are very small in compare to the page table size therefore, this is also not a practical approach.
  2. To overcome these many drawbacks in paging, we have to look for a memory that is cheaper than the register and faster than the main memory so that the time taken by the CPU to access page table again and again can be reduced and it can only focus to access the actual word.

Locality of reference

In operating systems, the concept of locality of reference states that, instead of loading the entire process in the main memory, OS can load only those number of pages in the main memory that are frequently accessed by the CPU and along with that, the OS can also load only those page table entries which are corresponding to those many pages.

Translation look aside buffer (TLB)

A Translation look aside buffer can be defined as a memory cache which can be used to reduce the time taken to access the page table again and again.

It is a memory cache which is closer to the CPU and the time taken by CPU to access TLB is lesser then that taken to access main memory.

In other words, we can say that TLB is faster and smaller than the main memory but cheaper and bigger than the register.

TLB follows the concept of locality of reference which means that it contains only the entries of those many pages that are frequently accessed by the CPU.

OS Translation Look aside buffer

In translation look aside buffers, there are tags and keys with the help of which, the mapping is done.

TLB hit is a condition where the desired entry is found in translation look aside buffer. If this happens then the CPU simply access the actual location in the main memory.

However, if the entry is not found in TLB (TLB miss) then CPU has to access page table in the main memory and then access the actual frame in the main memory.

Therefore, in the case of TLB hit, the effective access time will be lesser as compare to the case of TLB miss.

If the probability of TLB hit is P% (TLB hit rate) then the probability of TLB miss (TLB miss rate) will be (1-P) %.

Therefore, the effective access time can be defined as;

Where, p → TLB hit rate, t → time taken to access TLB, m → time taken to access main memory k = 1, if the single level paging has been implemented.

By the formula, we come to know that

  1. Effective access time will be decreased if the TLB hit rate is increased.
  2. Effective access time will be increased in the case of multilevel paging.

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