What does the processor actually do when it invalidates the cache or tlb? What physically happens with a flush?

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For more complete information about compiler optimizations, see our Optimization Notice.

For general informationonhowmemoryhierarchies work, you might take a look atComputer Architecture: A Quantitative Approach by John L. Hennessy and David A. Patterson.This has come to be the standard university text for computer architecture.

If your question is intended to be much more detailed in nature, you should take a look at Intel 64 and IA-32 Architectures Software Developer's Manuals at


In particular, take a look at section 4.10.4 of Volume 3B: System Programming Guide.

David Ott

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