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I am having trouble to understand the following question for my Computer Architecture assignment.

Consider a system that has a direct-mapped cache that contains a total of one megabyte; each line contains 64 words. The main memory contains one word per cell. It has a 32-bit address, and contains a total of 8GB. How many bits are in the main memory address?

In this question, does the sentence "It has a 32-bit address" means that the memory has 2^32 cells? If yes, would the total memory be 4GB instead of 8GB. I also not sure what is the different between the "32-bit address" and the "main memory address". I am not expecting and exact answer to this question, I just want to understand the concepts and terms correctly.

I appreciate whoever can help me with that. Thank you.

  • 2
    what did your teacher say when you asked them to clarify this? – gnat Jul 18 '17 at 5:55
  • I was out of town working and I could not ask questions to my professor. So I am studying by myself for this assignment. Thank you. – pleao Jul 18 '17 at 5:58
  • looks like you're asking us to guess what was on their mind when they wrote this assignment – gnat Jul 18 '17 at 6:54
  • The main memory contains one word per cell. It has a 32-bit address. The question looks wrong, but the correct answer is 32. – mouviciel Jul 18 '17 at 9:22
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As written, this question in your assignment doesn't make sense.
My guess is that some information got lost/mis-translated in translating the question to English.

A question that does make sense (and what I think is the real question) is

Consider a system that has a direct-mapped cache that contains a total of one megabyte; each line contains 64 words. The main memory contains one word per cell. It has a 32-bit address, and contains a total of 8GB. How many bits are in each cell of the main memory?

With 32-bit addresses, you can uniquely identify 2^32 cells in the main memory.
If the total memory is 8GB or 8.589.934.592 octets (8-bit units), then each cell of the main memory must contain 2 bytes or 16 bits. These two bytes are not individually addressable.

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