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Logical Address in Operating System vs. Physical Address in Operating System: What's the Difference?

Edited by Huma Saeed || By Sawaira Riaz || Published on February 2, 2024
A logical address in an operating system is a reference to data relative to the program's view, whereas a physical address refers to the actual location in the computer's memory.

Key Differences

In an operating system, a logical address represents a location from the perspective of an executing program, often seen as virtual memory. The physical address, however, is the actual location in the computer's memory hardware. The operating system and the memory management unit (MMU) work together to map these logical addresses to their corresponding physical addresses.
Sawaira Riaz
Feb 02, 2024
Logical addresses provide a layer of abstraction, allowing programs to operate as if they have access to a large, continuous block of memory. Physical addresses, on the other hand, correspond to the real memory locations on the RAM. This distinction is crucial for efficient memory management and program execution in an operating system.
Huma Saeed
Feb 02, 2024
The use of logical addresses allows the operating system to implement virtual memory, a feature that makes the system appear to have more memory than physically available. Physical addresses are used by the hardware to access the actual memory cells where data is stored.
Sawaira Riaz
Feb 02, 2024
Logical addressing helps in isolating the memory spaces of different programs, enhancing security and stability. Physical addressing directly deals with the hardware, where such isolation is managed by the operating system's memory management policies.
Harlon Moss
Feb 02, 2024
When a process is executed, it uses logical addresses to access memory. These are then translated to physical addresses by the operating system for actual data retrieval or storage, ensuring that processes do not interfere with each other's memory space.
Janet White
Feb 02, 2024
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Comparison Chart

Definition

Reference to data relative to the program's view.
Actual location in memory hardware.
Sawaira Riaz
Feb 02, 2024

Function

Used for abstraction in program memory access.
Used for actual memory hardware access.
Sawaira Riaz
Feb 02, 2024

Memory Management

Managed by the operating system for efficiency.
Directly correlates to RAM locations.
Sawaira Riaz
Feb 02, 2024

Role in Virtual Memory

Allows implementation of virtual memory.
Actual addresses where virtual memory is mapped.
Harlon Moss
Feb 02, 2024

Security and Isolation

Enhances security by isolating memory spaces.
Managed by OS to maintain security and stability.
Aimie Carlson
Feb 02, 2024
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Logical Address in Operating System and Physical Address in Operating System Definitions

Logical Address in Operating System

A logical address is a virtual memory reference as seen by a program.
The program accessed variable 'X' using a logical address in its own memory space.
Sawaira Riaz
Jan 23, 2024

Physical Address in Operating System

OS translates logical addresses to physical addresses for data access.
When a program runs, its logical addresses are mapped to physical addresses in RAM.
Sawaira Riaz
Jan 23, 2024

Logical Address in Operating System

Logical addresses are translated into physical addresses by the OS.
The OS uses a page table to translate the logical address to a physical one.
Sawaira Riaz
Jan 23, 2024

Physical Address in Operating System

Physical addressing is crucial for direct memory access.
Hardware devices use physical addresses for reading and writing data.
Sawaira Riaz
Jan 23, 2024

Logical Address in Operating System

Logical addresses are used in the context of virtual memory.
The logical address pointed to a location in the virtual memory, not actual RAM.
Sawaira Riaz
Jan 23, 2024

Physical Address in Operating System

Physical addresses correspond to real memory hardware.
The physical address points to a specific cell in the computer's memory.
Sawaira Riaz
Jan 23, 2024

Logical Address in Operating System

Logical addressing enables easier and safer memory management.
Logical addresses prevent programs from accidentally modifying system memory.
Sawaira Riaz
Jan 23, 2024

Physical Address in Operating System

Physical addresses are managed by the OS for memory security.
The OS controls which physical addresses are accessible by each process.
Janet White
Jan 23, 2024

Logical Address in Operating System

Logical addresses allow programs to believe they have a large, contiguous memory space.
In logical addressing, two consecutive variables may not be physically contiguous.
Huma Saeed
Jan 23, 2024

Physical Address in Operating System

A physical address refers to an actual memory location in RAM.
The CPU accessed data at the physical address 0x1A2B3C4D.
Sawaira Riaz
Jan 23, 2024

FAQs

What is a logical address in an OS?

It's a virtual address used by programs to access memory.
Sawaira Riaz
Feb 02, 2024

What role do logical addresses play in virtual memory?

They allow programs to use more memory than physically available.
Janet White
Feb 02, 2024

Why are logical addresses used?

They provide a simple and secure way for programs to access memory.
Huma Saeed
Feb 02, 2024

Can two programs have the same logical address?

Yes, each program can have similar logical addresses, mapped to different physical addresses.
Sawaira Riaz
Feb 02, 2024

How does an OS manage logical addresses?

The OS translates these addresses to physical addresses for actual memory access.
Sawaira Riaz
Feb 02, 2024

Why is address translation important?

It ensures that programs access the correct memory locations.
Aimie Carlson
Feb 02, 2024

How does virtual memory relate to physical addresses?

Virtual memory is mapped to physical addresses by the OS.
Sawaira Riaz
Feb 02, 2024

Are physical addresses constant?

They remain constant for the duration of the program's execution.
Janet White
Feb 02, 2024

Who uses physical addresses?

The operating system and hardware use physical addresses for data access.
Sawaira Riaz
Feb 02, 2024

How does the OS ensure security with physical addresses?

The OS restricts access to physical addresses based on process permissions.
Sawaira Riaz
Feb 02, 2024

What is address translation?

It's the process of converting logical to physical addresses.
Harlon Moss
Feb 02, 2024

Do logical addresses change?

Yes, they can change each time the program runs.
Harlon Moss
Feb 02, 2024

Can logical addresses lead to memory fragmentation?

No, logical addresses help in avoiding fragmentation issues.
Harlon Moss
Feb 02, 2024

Do all operating systems use logical addressing?

Most modern operating systems use some form of logical addressing.
Aimie Carlson
Feb 02, 2024

Is understanding logical and physical addresses important for programmers?

Yes, it helps in understanding memory management and system operations.
Sawaira Riaz
Feb 02, 2024

What is a physical address in an OS?

It's the actual location in the computer's RAM.
Sawaira Riaz
Feb 02, 2024

How is a physical address different from a logical one?

A physical address refers to an actual memory location, unlike the virtual logical address.
Sawaira Riaz
Feb 02, 2024

Are physical addresses visible to user programs?

No, user programs typically work with logical addresses.
Aimie Carlson
Feb 02, 2024

What happens if a program tries to access an illegal physical address?

The OS typically stops the program to prevent unauthorized access.
Sawaira Riaz
Feb 02, 2024

How does hardware interact with physical addresses?

Hardware components like the CPU access memory using physical addresses.
Harlon Moss
Feb 02, 2024
About Author
Written by
Sawaira Riaz
Sawaira is a dedicated content editor at difference.wiki, where she meticulously refines articles to ensure clarity and accuracy. With a keen eye for detail, she upholds the site's commitment to delivering insightful and precise content.
Edited by
Huma Saeed
Huma is a renowned researcher acclaimed for her innovative work in Difference Wiki. Her dedication has led to key breakthroughs, establishing her prominence in academia. Her contributions continually inspire and guide her field.

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