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A cache memory unit with capacity of $N$ words and block size of $B$ words is to be designed. If it is designed as a direct mapped cache, the length of the TAG field is 10 bits. If the cache unit is now designed as a 16-way set-associative cache, the length of the TAG field is ____________ bits.
in CO and Architecture by Veteran
retagged by | 9.1k views

Length of the TAG field in k-way set associative = Length of TAG field in Direct Mapping + log base2(k)

                    = 10+log base2(16) =14




$Tag$ $Line-offset$ $Word-offset$
$10-bits$ $(log_{2}N-log_{2}B)-bits$ $(log_{2}B)-bits$

$16-way\ set\ associative\ cache:$

$Tag$ $Line-offset$ $Word-offset$
$x-bits$ $(log_{2}N-log_{2}B-4)-bits$ $(log_{2}B)-bits$



10 Answers

+52 votes
Best answer

In set-associative 1 set = 16 lines. So the number of index bits will be $4$ less than the direct mapped case.

So, Tag bits increased to $14$ bits.

by Boss
selected by

In direct mapped cache. TAG field = 10 bits so 210 MM can be mapped to 1 cache line. Now we have 16 lines in 1 cache set so 24*210 = 214 MM blocks can be mapped to 1 cache set. So in a 16-way set-associative cache, the length of the TAG field is 14 bits.

New concept i learned
+44 votes

Cache capacity =N words

Block size= B words,bits for block offset=log(B)

No of lines in Direct  Mapped cache =N/B,bits for no. of lines=log(N/B)

No of Sets in 16-way set associative cache=N/16B,,bits for no. of sets=log(N/16B)

In direct mapped length of tag =10 bits



As Physical address is same for both cache mappings,


10+LOG(N/B)=X+LOG(N/16B)                              //AFTER CANCELLING LOG(B) 

2^(10+LOG(N/B))=2^(X+LOG(N/16B))                 //EXPONENTIATION WITH 2 ,BOTH SIDES

(2^10) *(N/B)=(2^X) *(N/16B)

(2^10) =(2^X) *(1/2^4)


X=14                                                                 //APPLYING LOG TO BOTH SIDES

by Active
+44 votes

hope it helps!!!

by Boss
edited by
Very good explaination thanks.
Yes it does !

Explained as simple as it could be.

Thank you.
+11 votes
in Direct mapping length is 10 bits that means at each index of cache 2^10 lines can be mapped

after 16 way set associative....16*(2^10) lines can be mapped in each set so total 2^14 lines hence tag bit must be able to address these many lines so 14 bits required

answer is 14 bits
by Active
+8 votes

Since offset not given so we can neglect it because line offset in (direct cache) and set offset in (set - associative cache) is same.

In direct cache = Tag(10) + line (x, assume) + offset (neglect it)

In set associative = Tag(t assume) + Set(x - 4) + offset (neglect it) , since set = $\frac{Number -of- Lines }{16- way -set- associative}$ = 2x-4

Now , In direct cache = 16- way set associative

         Tag(10) + line (x, assume) =  Tag(t assume) + Set(x - 4)

              10 + x = Tag + (x - 4)

               Tag = 10+4 = 14 bits

by Veteran
0 votes

So answer is tag bits = 14 bits.

0 votes
When it is directed mapped cache, the physical address can be divided as
(Tag bits + bits for block number + bits for block offset)
With block size being B words no. of bits for block offset = log (B)
Because the cache capacity is N words and each block is B words, number of blocks in cache = N / B
No. of bits for block number = log (N/B)
So, the physical address in direct mapping case
= 10 + log (N/B) + log (B)
= 10 + log (N) – log B + log B
= 10 + log (N)
If the same cache unit is designed as 16-way set associative, then the physical address becomes
(Tag bits + bits for set no. + Bits for block offset)
There are N/B blocks in the cache and in 16-way set associative cache each set contains 16 blocks.
So no. of sets = (N/B) / 16 = N / (16*B)
Then bits for set no = log (N/16*B)
Bits for block offset remain the same in this case also. That is log (B).
So physical address in the set associative case
= tag bits + log (N/16*B) + log B
= tag bits + log (N) – log (16*B) + log B
= tag bits + log (N) – log 16 – log B + log B
= tag bits + log N – 4
The physical address is the same in both the cases.
So, 10 + log N = tag bits + log N – 4
Tag bits = 14
So, no. of tag bits in the case 16-way set associative mapping for the same cache = 14.
by Junior
–1 vote

One approach will be we can find the number of blocks in main memory with the help of tag bits like given in the following picture

so total number of blocks in main memory is 131072 so we can find number of blocks in the cache as 131072/1024=128 blocks 
now when mapping is set associative so total number of sets in cache is 128/16=8 sets so now total number of blocks in main memory is 131072/8=16384 which is 2^14 so 14 bits are needed in tag.


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