Memory Management and Virtual Memory

 

Research a processor architecture and how it supports virtual memory.
Summarize how the processor architecture supports virtual memory.
Identify at least two advantages and two disadvantages in its virtual memory support.
Explain what effects (positive or negative) the architecture’s virtual memory support has on application software.

 

Memory Management and Virtual Memory

Introduction 

Virtual memory is considered as an important and common part of desktop computers and operating systems. The virtual memory is famous for its huge benefit for users at a very low cost. In this paper, we have been studied about processor architecture and its role in supporting the virtual memory. The selected processor architecture is known as the computer architecture and came with a wide range of obligations in favors of virtual memory. Apart from this, the advantages and disadvantages of virtual memory support are also studied to gain in-depth knowledge. Moreover, the positive and negative effects of architecture's on virtual memory support are also studied here. This has been done with the sole motive of getting significant information about the virtual memory and memory management.

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Computer Architecture 

Harris (2015) has been defined the computer architecture as a set of different specifications that inform about the hardware and technology standards and how they interact with the common platform of a computer system. On the other hand, Wang (2016) said that the computer architecture helps in designing of computer systems and check their compatibility with other parts. It is one of the important parts of processor architecture and built a significant layer of processor architecture to support the virtual memory management. The computer architecture has three different categories which support it performing its functions in a well-organized context.
These are following:
•    System Design: It is the combination of all hardware components like data processor, and graphics processing unit. 
•    Instruction Set Architecture: It is a programming language of the CPU. It is engaged in defining the CPU’s capabilities and functions. 
•    Microarchitecture: It is mainly recognized for defining data paths, storage elements, and data processing.

How Computer Architecture supports virtual Memory

Basu (2015) defined the virtual memory as a core component of the computer architecture. The computer architecture permits it to run large and difficult programs in required context. The computer architecture supports virtual memory by following ways:

Multiprogramming: The first and foremost role of computer architecture in virtual memory is multiprogramming. It is the computer architecture which helps the virtual memory to perform its multiprogramming in an effective manner. Due to the multiprogramming support of computer architecture, virtual memory can run a lot of programs at the same time, almost regardless of available RAM. Therefore, by supporting the multiprogramming feature of virtual memory, the computer architecture enhances its use in day to day life of individual users. 

Paging File: The second and important supports of computer architecture is paging file. According to this support, the computer architecture enables the virtual memory to write the computer program pages that have not been recently utilized to an area on the hard drive (McKinley, 2016). 
Memory Protection: Another important support of computer architecture is memory protection. Generally, it is believed that a computer can’t operate without the virtual memory. Therefore, the computer architecture helps the virtual memory in running many programs at the same time and save the wastage of data.  
Therefore, it is right to say that the computer architecture supports virtual memory in an effective manner. 

Advantages and disadvantages of computer architecture in virtual memory support

Advantages 
There are a lot of advantages that the computer architecture produces in favor of virtual memory. The first and foremost benefit of virtual memory support is the efficiency to execute and load a process that needs a big amount of memory than what is available by loading the process in parts and then executive them (Suh, 2014). On the other hand, another advantage is that the computer architecture reduces the level of external fragmentation in virtual memory support. 

Disadvantages
Apart from the benefits, it also has some disadvantages. The foremost disadvantage is that virtual memory system is slow in the process and need additional support from the computer architecture to address translations.

Effects of architecture’s virtual memory support on application software

Furthermore, it is right to say that the architecture's virtual memory support has a lot of positive and negative outcomes in favor of application software. The first and foremost positive outcome is that it enhances the capability of application software to deal with a lot of applications. On the other hand, another positive outcome that can feel among application software is an improvement in their performance and working structure (Seshadri, 2015). Moreover, the negative outcome is that the architecture’s virtual memory promotes heavy page fault activity. This may influence the overall performance of application software. 

Conclusion 

After studying all this, it can be concluded that computer architecture plays an important role in the management of virtual memory. It does not only play a supportive role but also serves as a guideline towards success.

References 

Basu, A., Hill, M. D., & Swift, M. M. (2015). U.S. Patent No. 9,158,704. Washington, DC: U.S. Patent and Trademark Office.
Harris, S., & Harris, D. (2015). Digital Design and Computer Architecture: ARM Edition. Morgan Kaufmann.
McKinley, K. S. (2016, March). Next Generation Virtual Memory Management. In ACM SIGPLAN Notices (Vol. 51, No. 7, pp. 107-107). ACM.
Suh, G. E., Clarke, D., Gassend, B., Van Dijk, M., & Devadas, S. (2014, June). AEGIS: architecture for tamper-evident and tamper-resistant processing. In ACM International Conference on Supercomputing 25th Anniversary Volume (pp. 357-368). ACM.
Seshadri, V., Pekhimenko, G., Ruwase, O., Mutlu, O., Gibbons, P. B., Kozuch, M. A., ... & Chilimbi, T. (2015, June). Page overlays: An enhanced virtual memory framework to enable fine-grained memory management. In Computer Architecture (ISCA), 2015 ACM/IEEE 42nd Annual International Symposium on (pp. 79-91). IEEE.
Wang, S., & ZHANG, C. (2016). Computer architecture.

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