Tuesday, January 22, 2013

The CS:APP Cache Lab

We've released a new lab, called the Cache Lab, that we've been using at CMU in place of the Performance Lab for a few semesters. In this lab, students write their own general-purpose cache simulator, and then optimize a small matrix transpose kernel to minimize the number of cache misses. We've found that it really helps students to understand how cache memories work, and to clarify key ideas such as spatial and temporal locality.