Memory Management and Microprocessor

Topics: X86, Virtual memory, Central processing unit Pages: 11 (3180 words) Published: October 1, 2008

In this paper, we will cover the memory management of Windows NT which will be covered in first section, and microprocessors which will be covered in second section. When covering the memory management of Windows NT, we will go through physical memory management and virtual memory management of that operating system. In virtual memory management section, we will learn how Windows NT managing its virtual memory by using paging and mapped file I/O.

After covering the memory management, we will go through microprocessor. In this section, we will learn a bit about the recent microprocessors, such as Intel and AMD microprocessors. We also will learn about the trends that affecting the performance of microprocessors.


Nowadays, information technology has grown so fast. Many stuffs of the information technology have been modified into more efficient stuff. So that, the users of the information technology must have know what they use, and how to manage it. Since the size of files, programs, and application have been increased, the management of memory also have to be improve. The usage of the memory will affect all of the system in process.

At this time, the qualities of microprocessor also have been increased. That’s why in this paper, we will cover the memory management and the microprocessor topics.


1.1.Memory Management in General

As we know, memory is an important resource that must be carefully managed. The memory has to be managed in order to make it as simple as possible for the programs to find space to be loaded and executed. Besides, memory management is needed to maximize the usage of memory itself, so that wastage will be reduced. This memory management is done by the operating system. Of course, each operating system has its own way to manage the memory. There is a part of operating system called system manager that manages the memory. The job of memory manager is to keep a track of which parts of memory are in use and which parts are not in use, so that it can allocate the memory to processes when they need it and reallocate it when they are done. Memory manager helps to manage swapping between main memory and disk when main memory is too small to hold all the processes. In general, memory is divided into logical addresses and physical addresses. The logical address is an address that is generated by the CPU, and the physical address is the address that is seen by the memory unit.

1.2.Memory Management in Windows NT

Windows NT is 32-bit operating system with non-segmented memory. It provides 4GB memory, which is known as continuous address space. Although memory of Windows NT is not segmented, programmer clearly preferred flat models to segmented ones. The using of languages such as COBOL make programmers view memory as segments, but nowadays, with new languages such as C and C++, data variables and code can be freely mixed. This situation causes segmented memory models are not attractive anymore. This is why Microsoft decided to do away with segmented memory models with Windows NT.

In Windows NT, one process should not affect another process. This requires that no two processes can see each other’s address space, so that Windows NT should provide separated address space for each process. The 4GB memory of Windows NT is divided into two different address spaces. Each address space has 2GB address space. The upper 2GB address space is reserved as kernel address space, and the lower 2GB as users address space which holds the user-mode code and data.

1.2.1.Physical Memory Management in Windows NT

When managing the physical memory, Windows NT usually is being helped by Intel 80386 microprocessor (32-bit processor). This microprocessor supports segmentation as well as paging. As we known before, Windows NT only provides non-segmented memory, but in the other hand, the 80386 microprocessor supports...
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