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...cache dimensioning ;-)

Subject: ...cache dimensioning ;-)
From: Emmanuel Michon <>
Date: Fri, 10 Sep 2004 12:15:58 +0200
Organization: REALmagic France SAS
Original-recipient: rfc822;

I'm still in the process of choosing the best configurable parameters of
a hardware design based on 4KEc

As far as I understand, excepted alpha platforms, 4KByte pages are the
de facto standard [I assume linux developers are reasonable so changing
the page size to 8KB is not going to be a nightmare...]

Since the mips cache is virtually indexed but physically tagged, I see
two problems when the size of a cache way exceeds the size of a page:

- virtual aliasing. Can only happen on R/W pages (data cache) and only
when two different virtual addresses map the same physical page. An
example of this is: two processes sharing a memory area; should I
consider this is taken into account by linux already?

- I was told the software exception handlers for tlb are much less
efficient when cacheway > pagesize, forcing to flush too often. Is this
true? What is, in practice, the ratio of instruction pages and data
pages in a tlb?

If I consider a platform like Toshiba TX39 which has d-cache four ways
with total 32KBytes, it must already have the problems above. I'd like
to get some more clues though...

Thanks a lot,

Sincerely yours,


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