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A computer chip that contains two or more CPU processing units. Instead of continuing to squeeze more speed out of a single processor, it became obvious years ago that creating chips with multiple processing cores was the more practical approach. All major operating systems were updated to support this "symmetric multiprocessing" (SMP) capability, which enables, for example, the OS to run in one core, while each application runs in another. Antivirus running in the background can occupy its own core, and multicore architecture is ideal for virtualized servers (see virtual machine). Applications requiring extensive computations on separate sets of data, such as video encoding and 3D rendering, can also take advantage of multicore processing.

From Two to Dozens of Cores
Starting in 2005, dual-core and quad-core chips began to emerge for the x86 platform, and in subsequent years, multicore PC and Mac laptop and desktop computers became commonplace. In 2014, IBM's POWER8 CPU was introduced with up to 12 cores, and Intel introduced an 18-core Xeon chip. Other companies have developed CPUs for multimedia and scientific processing with dozens of cores. See SMP, dual core, triple core, quad core, octa-core, multithreading, multiprocessing and Cell chip.

Eight-Core POWER Chip
In 2010, IBM debuted its POWER7 generation with up to eight cores. Providing four threads per core, a 32-chip POWER7 computer can process 1,024 simultaneous instruction streams. (Image courtesy of IBM.)

Seventy-Two Cores
EZchip's Gx8072 system-on-chip (SoC) has 24 lanes of PCI Express and up to 100 Gbps of Ethernet I/O. (Image courtesy of EZchip Semiconductor Corporation,
References in periodicals archive ?
19, 2015 /PRNewswire/ -- This report analyzes the worldwide markets for Multi-Core Processors in US$ Million.
Wind River s industry-leading operating systems and development tools support Altera s multi-core ARM processor-based SoC platforms.
Both the Retina iPad mini and iPad Air pack similar hardware configuration including the same A7 processor and M7 motion coprocessor, which justifies the fact that they deliver nearly identical performance in Geekbench 3 single-core and multi-core processor benchmarks.
com)-- ITTIA, a leader in modern embedded and mobile database software, equips applications with safe and efficient storage on single-core and multi-core systems.
Researchers from North Carolina State University have developed two new techniques to help maximize the performance of multi-core computer chips by allowing them to retrieve data more efficiently, which boosts chip performance by 10 to 40 per cent.
Strong Customer Demand Drives Release of Prism Platform Support Packages for NetLogic Microsystems' XLP(R), XLR(R) and XLS(R) Multi-Core Processor Families
of Crete, Greece) compiles 12 chapters on topics related to multi-core embedded systems, and the technical challenges associated with the integration of processors and multiple cores.
a supplier of high performance, System-on-a-Chip (SoC) based computing systems, has unveiled a new class of semiconductor devices called Field Programmable Multi-core Chips (FPMCs).
Tokyo, Japan, Oct 24, 2005 - (JCN Newswire) - NEC Corporation today announced that it has succeeded in the development of Japanese-English/English-Japanese, automatic speech translation software for single-chip multi-core processors for small devices such as mobile phones, capable of operation at high speeds with low power consumption.
Nasdaq: BEAS) has announced it is supporting the Intel roadmap for multi-core server platforms and that BEA is eliminating any premium pricing for dual core processors for its entire software product portfolio.
BOSTON -- Multi-core smartphone applications processors gained strong traction in Q3 2011, accounting for almost 25 percent of total smartphone applications processors shipped in Q3 2011, according to the " Multi-Core Smartphone Applications Processor Quarterly Market Tracker ," from the Strategy Analytics Handset Component Technologies (HCT) service.
EB paves the way for future automotive electronics trends with an operating system supporting multi-core ECUs at the highest Automotive Safety Level ASIL D.

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