cache: A high speed memory or storage device used to reduce the effective time required to read data from or write data to a lower speed memory or device. Read cache holds data in anticipation that it will be requested by a client. Write cache holds data written by a client until it can be safely stored on more permanent storage media such as disk or tape. The cache is generally placed between either 1) a smaller, faster chunk of memory and a bigger, slower chunk of memory, or 2) a processor and a bigger, slower block of memory. cf. buffer, disk cache, write back cache, write through cache.
See also: [disk | tape] cache buffer