Caching is the process of storing frequently accessed data or resources in a temporary storage location, enabling faster retrieval and improved performance.

Caching, in the context of computer science and information technology, refers to the technique of storing frequently accessed data or resources in a temporary storage location called a cache. The purpose of caching is to improve system performance and reduce latency by reducing the time and effort required to retrieve data from its original source.

When a user requests data or resources, such as a webpage, image, or file, the system first checks if it is available in the cache. If it is, the data can be quickly retrieved from the cache instead of going through the longer process of accessing the original source, such as a database or a remote server. This significantly speeds up the overall response time, enhances user experience, and reduces the load on the original source.

Caches are typically implemented at various levels within a system’s architecture. At the hardware level, processors often have built-in caches that store frequently accessed instructions or data. At the software level, web browsers, operating systems, and applications use caches to store frequently accessed files, web pages, or other resources.

Caching algorithms determine how data is stored and replaced within a cache. The most commonly used algorithm is the Least Recently Used (LRU), which evicts the least recently accessed item from the cache when it reaches its capacity. Other algorithms include First-In-First-Out (FIFO), Least Frequently Used (LFU), and Random Replacement.