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In x86 systems, there may actually be 2 address translation steps:
  • first segmentation
  • then paging
like this:
(logical) ------------------> (linear) ------------> (physical)
             segmentation                 paging
The major difference between paging and segmentation is that:
  • paging splits RAM into equal sized chunks called pages
  • segmentation splits memory into chunks of arbitrary sizes
Paging came after segmentation historically, and largely replaced it for the implementation of virtual memory in modern OSs.
Paging has become so much more popular that support for segmentation was dropped in x86-64 in 64-bit mode, the main mode of operation for new software, where it only exists in compatibility mode, which emulates IA-32.

Ancestors