|Look up prefetching in Wiktionary, the free dictionary.|
Prefetching in computer science is a technique for speeding up fetch operations by beginning a fetch operation whose result is expected to be needed soon. Usually this is before it is known to be needed, so there is a risk of wasting time by prefetching data that will not be used. The technique can be applied in several circumstances:
- Instruction prefetch, in computer architecture, a microprocessor speedup technique
- Prefetch input queue (PIQ), in computer architecture, pre-loading machine code from memory
- Link prefetching, a web mechanism for prefetching links
- The Prefetcher technology in modern releases of Microsoft Windows
- prefetch instructions, for example provided by PREFETCH an X86 instruction in computing
- Prefetch buffer, a feature of DDR SDRAM memory
- Swap prefetch, in computer operating systems, anticipatory paging
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