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What is Parallel Processing?

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Parallel processing is a system which enabled the execution of multiple programs simultaneously by dividing the program among multiple processors and thus reduce the time of execution of the program. Parallel processing deploys several CPUs or processors which work simultaneously to execute a program.

What is Parallel Processing

Parallel processing is a process that allows the processing of multiple program instructions and operations simultaneously by dividing them among multiple processors, which enables running a program in less time.

The concept of parallel processing has been taken from the human brain and has been successfully deployed to the computers at present. Human brain has the ability to process multiple tasks simultaneously by responding to the incoming stimuli of differing quality. In this process, the major role is played by vision as when an individual see something, the brain divides that into four components namely color, motion, shape, and depth. Based on the previous memories stored in the brain, the brain analyse these components, compare them and then identifies the object.

Similarly, in computing the task of processing incoming stimuli is done by the machines and is also referred as parallel computing. In parallel computing, use of more than one CPU or processor is done simultaneously in order to execute a program or multiple programs. Implementation of parallel processing stimulates the speed of the programs and helps them run faster as they are controlled by more than one CPUs or cores.

Usually, it is quite difficult to divide a program in such a way that separate CPUs or cores can perform different portions of the program without interfering with each other. As we know, most of the computers are integrated with only one CPU but as present many models are available with multiple core processor chips and some computers even consists of thousands of CPUs.

Moreover, parallel processing can be executed with single CPU, single-core computers by connecting the computers in a network. Though, you need to have very sophisticated software called distributed processing software to perform this.

However, many people confuse parallel processing with concurrency but concurrency is a different concept, which is used in operating systems and databases communities. Concurrency refers to the property of a system in which various computations are executed simultaneously, and potentially interact with each other.

However, Parallelism refers to a system which is usually used by the supercomputing community to describe executions, which are physically executed simultaneously with an objective to solve a problem in less time or solving a larger problem in the same time. Thus, this can be inferred that Parallelism exploits concurrency.

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Posted on: October 3, 2013

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