Patton, Peter C. Minnesota Supercomputer Institute, University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, Minnesota.
- Throughput-oriented multiprocessing
- High-availability multiprocessing
- Response-oriented multiprocessing
- Links to Primary Literature
- Additional Readings
An organizational technique in which a number of processor units are employed in a single computer system to increase the performance of the system in its application environment above the performance of a single processor. In order to cooperate on a single application or class of applications, the processors share a common resource. Usually this resource is primary memory, and the multiprocessor is called a primary memory multiprocessor. A system in which each processor has a private (local) main memory and shares secondary (global) memory with the others is a secondary memory multiprocessor, sometimes called a multicomputer system because of the looser coupling between processors. The more common multiprocessor systems incorporate only processors of the same type and performance and thus are called homogeneous multiprocessors; however, heterogeneous multiprocessors are also employed. A special case is the attached processor, in which a second processor module is attached to a first processor in a closely coupled fashion so that the first can perform input/output and operating system functions, enabling the attached processor to concentrate on the application workload. See also: Computer storage technology; Operating system
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