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What is Multiprocessing?

Malcolm Tatum
Updated May 16, 2024
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Multiprocessing refers to an operating situation where the simultaneous processing of programs takes place. This state of ongoing and coordinated processing is usually achieved by interconnecting two or more computer processors that make it possible to use the available resources to best advantage. Many operating systems today are equipped with a multiprocessing capability, although multiprogramming tends to be the more common approach today.

The basic platform for multiprocessing allows for more than one computer to be engaged in the used of the same programs at the same time. This means that persons working at multiple work stations can access and work with data contained within a given program. It is this level of functionality that makes it possible for users in a work environment to effectively interact via a given program.

There are essentially two different types of multiprocessing. Symmetric multiprocessing, more than one computer processor will share memory capacity and data path protocols. While the process may involve more than one computer station, only one copy or the operating system will be used to initiate all the orders executed by the processors involved in the connection.

The second approach to multiprocessing is known as massively parallel processing. Within this structure, it is possible harness and make use of large numbers of processors in order to handle tasks. Often, this type of multiprocessing will involve over two hundred processors. Within the environment of MPP, each processor works with individual operating systems and memory resources, but will connect with the other processors in the setup to divide tasks and oversee different aspects of transmissions through data paths.

Multiprocessing is a common situation with corporations that function with multiple locations and a large number of employees. The combination of resources that can result from the use of multiple computer processors make it possible to transmit data without regard to distance or location, as well as allow large numbers of users to work with a program simultaneously. While the actual creation of a multiprocessing system can be somewhat complicated, the approach ultimately saves a great deal of time and money for larger companies.

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Malcolm Tatum
By Malcolm Tatum , Writer
Malcolm Tatum, a former teleconferencing industry professional, followed his passion for trivia, research, and writing to become a full-time freelance writer. He has contributed articles to a variety of print and online publications, including EasyTechJunkie, and his work has also been featured in poetry collections, devotional anthologies, and newspapers. When not writing, Malcolm enjoys collecting vinyl records, following minor league baseball, and cycling.

Discussion Comments

By anon20580 — On Nov 02, 2008

hierarchical bus system in multiprocessor system?

Malcolm Tatum

Malcolm Tatum


Malcolm Tatum, a former teleconferencing industry professional, followed his passion for trivia, research, and writing...
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