Definition of prefetch in English:



[WITH OBJECT]Computing
  • Transfer (data) from main memory to temporary storage in readiness for later use.

    • ‘It's primarily designed to prefetch large quantities of data to help prevent processor stalls.’
    • ‘The accelerator scours a page and prefetches the content behind each link.’
    • ‘The target can thus be prefetched before the actual address has been calculated and placed in a register.’


  • A process or instance of prefetching data.

    • ‘Some changes were made to the hardware prefetch mechanism to increase its efficiency, in addition to software prefetches now being stored in the trace cache.’
    • ‘This process is called prefetching, and it generally works well.’
    • ‘A mechanism is also described to improve the timeliness of a prefetch by suitably adjusting the value of N after observing the usefulness of the prefetched instructions or data.’
    • ‘In fact, all contemporary CPUs have their own data prefetch mechanisms, which allow them to move data into the cache memory.’