The L1 cache is situated inside the cpu to speed up the process of data access but since electrical signals travel at the speed of light(almost constant) which is blazingly fast then how does distance come into consideration.
For light to travel a distance of 2 cm vs a distance of 10cm won't be a great deal and time taken to reach both the points would be almost be the same, then why is it said that, the closer the component is to the cpu the faster the cpu can access it.
Another question is that, What is clock speed of a cpu and how does it affect data transfer speeds.

  • You hit it: it's the speed of light thing, or, really, the speed of electricity in copper (about 1/3 the speed of light). You need to understand how incredibly fast processors are now,, and the latency between a request and response doubles the distance.
    – Ron Maupin
    Commented Jan 4, 2016 at 5:43
  • But still at a speed 1/3rd of light 2-10 cm wont matter much . Commented Jan 4, 2016 at 5:45
  • It does. Do the math, and remember to double the distance.
    – Ron Maupin
    Commented Jan 4, 2016 at 5:48
  • Sorry I'm a noob at these things. Please help :) Commented Jan 4, 2016 at 5:54
  • @Shivamaggarwal - Help you with what exactly? You state that the distance does not matter, except it does, so your question on its fundamentals is based on your incorrect understand of a core concept.
    – Ramhound
    Commented Jan 4, 2016 at 13:12

1 Answer 1


For a microprocessor cache, resistive-capacitive delay is significant. As Wikipedia notes, this delay is proportional to the square of length. To reduce this delay, repeaters can be inserted, but these add logic delay. Another (lesser) delay factor is in address decoding; each doubling of size requires one more row decoder to address the appropriate row of bits.

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