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Consider a two-level cache hierarchy with $L1$ and $L2$ caches. An application incurs $1.4$ memory accesses per instruction on average. For this application, the miss rate of $L1$ cache is $0.1$; the $L2$ cache experiences, on average, $7$ misses per $1000$ instructions. The miss rate of $L2$ expressed correct to two decimal places is ________.

197 votes

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21 votes

Best explanation found

Since , it is given in question that for 1 instruction it takes 1.4 memory access(ma)

So, for 1000 instr. it will take =1000* 1.4 ma= 1400 ma

Now , it is given for l1 cache miss rate(mr) = 0.1

and since , we know mr=no. of misses/total no. of ma

so, 0.1=no. of misses/1400

thus, no. of misses of l1 =140

As , we know when there is miss in l1 , we search for data in l2

so, now for l2 cache total no. of ma=140, and it is given there is 7 miss

so , mr for l2 cache=7/140=1/20=0.05

Since , it is given in question that for 1 instruction it takes 1.4 memory access(ma)

So, for 1000 instr. it will take =1000* 1.4 ma= 1400 ma

Now , it is given for l1 cache miss rate(mr) = 0.1

and since , we know mr=no. of misses/total no. of ma

so, 0.1=no. of misses/1400

thus, no. of misses of l1 =140

As , we know when there is miss in l1 , we search for data in l2

so, now for l2 cache total no. of ma=140, and it is given there is 7 miss

so , mr for l2 cache=7/140=1/20=0.05

3

17 votes

I really think that for an exam as prestigious as GATE, this question is worded very poorly.

the L2 cache experiences, on average, 7 misses per 1000 instructions. The miss rate of L2 expressed correct to two decimal places is ....

One can argue that it is 7/1000 = 0.007

I.e. per 1000 instructions given to L2, it misses 7 of them.

`But the question actually says, per 1000 instructions given to `

`L1`

, L2 ultimately misses 7 of them.

So, give L1 1000 instructions

=> 1400 memory accesses

=> Missed 140 memory accesses.

These 140 accesses would pe passed through L2 because of the hierarchy, and L2 would miss 7 of them.

So miss rate of L2 = 7/140 =* 0.05*.

PS: If 0.05 wasn't in the official answer key, I'd never have believed it to be the answer. One of the rare poorly worded GATE question.

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