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4-14 Vol. 3A



Linear-Address Translation with PAE Paging

PAE paging may map linear addresses to either 4-KByte pages or 2-MByte pages. Figure 4-5 illustrates the trans-
lation process when it produces a 4-KByte page; Figure 4-6 covers the case of a 2-MByte page. The following items 
describe the PAE paging process in more detail as well has how the page size is determined:

Bits 31:30 of the linear address select a PDPTE register (see Section 4.4.1); this is PDPTEi, where i is the value 
of bits 31:30.


 Because a PDPTE register is identified using bits 31:30 of the linear address, it controls access 

to a 1-GByte region of the linear-address space. If the P flag (bit 0) of PDPTEi is 0, the processor ignores bits 
63:1, and there is no mapping for the 1-GByte region controlled by PDPTEi. A reference using a linear address 
in this region causes a page-fault exception (see Section 4.7).

If the P flag of PDPTEi is 1, 4-KByte naturally aligned page directory is located at the physical address specified 
in bits 51:12 of PDPTEi (see Table 4-8 in Section 4.4.1). A page directory comprises 512 64-bit entries (PDEs). 
A PDE is selected using the physical address defined as follows:
— Bits 51:12 are from PDPTEi.
— Bits 11:3 are bits 29:21 of the linear address.
— Bits 2:0 are 0.

Because a PDE is identified using bits 31:21 of the linear address, it controls access to a 2-Mbyte region of the 
linear-address space. Use of the PDE depends on its PS flag (bit 7):

If the PDE’s PS flag is 1, the PDE maps a 2-MByte page (see Table 4-9). The final physical address is computed 
as follows:
— Bits 51:21 are from the PDE.
— Bits 20:0 are from the original linear address.

If the PDE’s PS flag is 0, a 4-KByte naturally aligned page table is located at the physical address specified in 
bits 51:12 of the PDE (see Table 4-10). A page table comprises 512 64-bit entries (PTEs). A PTE is selected 
using the physical address defined as follows:
— Bits 51:12 are from the PDE.

Table 4-8.  Format of a PAE Page-Directory-Pointer-Table Entry (PDPTE)




0 (P)

Present; must be 1 to reference a page directory


Reserved (must be 0)

3 (PWT)

Page-level write-through; indirectly determines the memory type used to access the page directory referenced by 

this entry (see Section 4.9)

4 (PCD)

Page-level cache disable; indirectly determines the memory type used to access the page directory referenced by 

this entry (see Section 4.9)


Reserved (must be 0)




Physical address of 4-KByte aligned page directory referenced by this entry



Reserved (must be 0)


1. M is an abbreviation for MAXPHYADDR, which is at most 52; see Section 4.1.4.

1. With PAE paging, the processor does not use CR3 when translating a linear address (as it does in the other paging modes). It does 

not access the PDPTEs in the page-directory-pointer table during linear-address translation.