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@jboner
Last active May 28, 2024 15:01
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Latency Numbers Every Programmer Should Know
Latency Comparison Numbers (~2012)
----------------------------------
L1 cache reference 0.5 ns
Branch mispredict 5 ns
L2 cache reference 7 ns 14x L1 cache
Mutex lock/unlock 25 ns
Main memory reference 100 ns 20x L2 cache, 200x L1 cache
Compress 1K bytes with Zippy 3,000 ns 3 us
Send 1K bytes over 1 Gbps network 10,000 ns 10 us
Read 4K randomly from SSD* 150,000 ns 150 us ~1GB/sec SSD
Read 1 MB sequentially from memory 250,000 ns 250 us
Round trip within same datacenter 500,000 ns 500 us
Read 1 MB sequentially from SSD* 1,000,000 ns 1,000 us 1 ms ~1GB/sec SSD, 4X memory
Disk seek 10,000,000 ns 10,000 us 10 ms 20x datacenter roundtrip
Read 1 MB sequentially from disk 20,000,000 ns 20,000 us 20 ms 80x memory, 20X SSD
Send packet CA->Netherlands->CA 150,000,000 ns 150,000 us 150 ms
Notes
-----
1 ns = 10^-9 seconds
1 us = 10^-6 seconds = 1,000 ns
1 ms = 10^-3 seconds = 1,000 us = 1,000,000 ns
Credit
------
By Jeff Dean: http://research.google.com/people/jeff/
Originally by Peter Norvig: http://norvig.com/21-days.html#answers
Contributions
-------------
'Humanized' comparison: https://gist.github.com/hellerbarde/2843375
Visual comparison chart: http://i.imgur.com/k0t1e.png
@LuisOsta
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@jboner What do you think about adding cryptography numbers to the list? I feel like that would be a really valuable addition to the list for comparison. Especially as cryptography usage increases and becomes more common.

We could for instance add Ed25519 latency for cryptographic signing and verification. In a very rudimentary testing I did locally I got:

  1. Ed25519 Signing - 254.20µs
  2. Ed25519 Verification - 368.20µs

You can replicate the results with the following rust program:

fn main() {
    println!("Hello, world!");
    let msg = b"lfasjhfoihjsofh438948hhfklshfosiuf894y98s";
    let sk = ed25519_zebra::SigningKey::new(rand::thread_rng());

    let now = std::time::Instant::now();
    let sig = sk.sign(msg);
    println!("{:?}", sig);
    let elapsed = now.elapsed();
    println!("Elapsed: {:.2?}", elapsed);

    let vk = ed25519_zebra::VerificationKey::from(&sk);
    let now = std::time::Instant::now();
    vk.verify(&sig, msg).unwrap();
    let elapsed = now.elapsed();
    println!("Elapsed: {:.2?}", elapsed);
}

@bob333
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bob333 commented Sep 15, 2022

What is "Zippy"? Is it a google internal compression software?

@Yrwein
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Yrwein commented Oct 4, 2022

@milesrichardson
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Send 1K bytes over 1 Gbps network 10,000 ns 10 us

this seems misleading, since in common networking terminology 1 Gbps refers to throughput ("size of the pipe"), but this list is about "latency," which is generally independent of throughput - it takes the same amount of time to send 1K bytes over a 1 Mbps network and a 1 Gbps network

A better description of this measure sounds like "bit rate," or more specifically the "data signaling rate" (DSR) over some communications medium (like fiber). This also avoids the ambiguity of "over" the network (how much distance?) because DSR measures "aggregate rate at which data passes a point" instead of a segment.

Using this definition (which I just learned a minute ago), perhaps a better label would be:

- Send 1K bytes over 1 Gbps network       10,000   ns       10 us
+ Transfer 1K bytes over a point on a 1 Gbps fiber channel       10,000   ns       10 us

🤷 (also, I didn't check if the math is consistent with this labeling, but I did pull "fiber channel" from the table on the DSR wiki page)

@nking
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nking commented Jun 8, 2023

Thanks for sharing your updates.

You could consider adding a context switch for threads right under disk seek:
computer context switches: 1e7 ns

@VTrngNghia
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I see "Read 1 MB sequentially from disk", but how about disk write?

@SergeSEA
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SergeSEA commented Dec 20, 2023

the numbers are from Dr. Dean from Google reveals the length of typical computer operations in 2010. I hope someone could update them as it's 2023

@VTrngNghia
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The numbers should be still quite similar.

These numbers based on Physical limitation only significant technological leap can make a difference.

In any case, these are for estimates, not exact calculation. For example, 1MB read from SSD is different for each SSD, but it should be somewhere around the Millisecond range.

@xealits
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xealits commented Jan 31, 2024

it could be useful to add a column with the sizes in the hierarchy. Also, a column of the minimal memory units sizes, the cache line sizes etc. Then you can also divide the sizes by the latencies, which would be some kind of limit for a simple algorithm throughput. Not really sure if this is useful though.

@robertknight
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As an updated point of reference for the first few numbers, Apple give a table in their Apple Silicon CPU Optimization guide. You can see they are extremely similar to the original figures:

Apple Silicon CPU latency

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