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ARM Cortex-A72 MPCore Processor Technical Reference Manual : About the MMU

About the MMU

The Cortex-A72 processor is an ARMv8 compliant processor that supports execution in both the AArch64 and AArch32 states.

In AArch32 state, the ARMv8 address translation system resembles the ARMv7 address translation system with LPAE and Virtualization Extensions. In AArch64 state, the ARMv8 address translation system resembles an extension to the Long Descriptor Format address translation system to support the expanded virtual and physical address spaces. For more information regarding the address translation formats, see the ARM® Architecture Reference Manual ARMv8. Key differences between the AArch64 and AArch32 address translation systems are that the AArch64 state provides the ability to:

  • Select the translation granule to either be 4KB or 64KB. In AArch32, the translation granule is limited to be 4KB.
  • Configure the ASID size to be either 8-bit or 16-bit. In AArch32, the ASID is limited to an 8-bit value.

The maximum supported physical address size is:

  • 44-bit in AArch64 state.
  • 40-bit in AArch32 state.

The MMU controls table walk hardware that accesses translation tables in memory. The MMU works with the L1 and L2 memory system to translate a Virtual Address (VA) to a Physical Address (PA). The MMU enables fine-grained memory system control through a set of virtual-to-physical address mappings and memory attributes held in the L1 and L2 Translation Look-aside Buffers (TLBs).

The MMU has the following features:

  • 48-entry fully-associative L1 instruction TLB.
  • 32-entry fully-associative L1 data TLB for data load and store pipelines.
  • 4-way set-associative 1024-entry L2 TLB in each processor.
  • Intermediate table walk caches.
  • The TLB entries contain a global indicator or an Address Space Identifier (ASID) to permit context switches without TLB flushes.
  • The TLB entries contain a Virtual Machine Identifier (VMID) to permit virtual machine switches without TLB flushes.
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