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Code Size

The Cache Kernel represents a significant reduction in size and complexity over previous kernels. For example, the virtual memory code in the Cache Kernel is a little under 1,500 lines of C++ code, whereas the V kernel virtual memory support for the same hardware is 13,087 lines of C/C++. The virtual memory system for Ultrix 4.1 for MIPS is 23,400 lines, for SunOS 4.1.2 for Sparc is 14,400 lines, and for Mach for MIPS is a little over 20,000 lines. In total, the Cache Kernel consists of 14,958 lines of C++ code, of which roughly 6000 lines (40 percent) is PROM monitor, remote debugging and booting support (including implementations of UDP, IP, ARP, RARP, and TFTP.) The second-level cache manager software requires a further 1262 lines of code, which would be eliminated if the second-level cache management was implemented entirely in hardware, as is the more conventional approach.

The Cache Kernel has a binary code and data size of 139 kilobytes allowing it to fit easily into the PROM. We expect the size of the Cache Kernel to grow somewhat as we extend and refine its functionality, but do not see it moving beyond 150 kilobytes.

Based on these measurements and our experience writing and debugging the code, we conclude that the caching model, the minimal object approach, and memory-based messaging significantly reduce the size and complexity of kernel code over conventional approaches, including our previous micro-kernel work.

Tue Oct 4 12:01:58 PDT 1994