Definition: (1) Portion of computer memory or specialised memory serving the main processor used for temporary storage of frequently accessed data or instructions. * May be configured almost as part of the processor in which case it is known as 'back-side' cache. (2) RAM dedicated to keeping data recently read off a storage device; also known as disk cache: * As the computer often refers back to recently read data, keeping such data in RAM saves on the access time needed to go to looking again for it on the storage device. * Cache may be carried on the device such as the hard-drive itself, be in a reserved area of the computer's RAM, may be supplied as a plug-in card or, for CD-ROMs, as a software utility.

Related Terms: access time

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