Computer Science

FreetheMalloc Special – Chapter 1: Computer Memory: Memory Management

Allocation Architecture Idea 1: Linked Lists

Before each block, the status information about its size and usage (free/occupied) are stored.

As you can see, information about PCB for Process 0 is saved before Process 0’s block.


After a number of allocations and deallocations, our memory turns into a wasteful design consisting of free and occupied blocks like this:

And this type of result is called “fragmentation”.

  • External Fragmentation: Free blocks, that are too small for any usage
  • Internal Fragmentation: Blocks are divided in factors of constant numbers, for example 4 or 8 Bytes. Because of that, If you store a 9 byte data in 8 Byte system, you have to allocate 8 Bytes more for the remaining single 1 Byte. This is called internal fragmentation.

More About Fragmentation

Internal Fragmentation

External Fragmentation
Memory Usage

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