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What is caching? Why do we do it?

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The concept of having smaller faster devices act as a "staging area" for larger slower devices.

The faster the memory, the more expensive it is to build, so there is a practical limit on how much fast memory we can put in the system, and still keep it affordable. As a result, a memory hierarchy with effective caching can perform data access at an average speed close to that of the fastest storage, but have an effective size and cost per byte close to that of the largest storage device.
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