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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 ?
Barlas presents students, academics, researchers, and professionals working in a variety of contexts with an examination of multicore CPU programming and massively parallel of many-core GPU computing.
In Section 3, the DGF implementations are presented for: (i) the multicore CPU, (ii) the GPU, and (iii) the hybrid CPU-GPU parallel processing system.
Combining a multicore CPU with the hundreds of parallel processing cores of an Nvidia GPU has enabled a new GPU-accelerated computing model for the HPC industry.
It has characterized it as a many-core processor that will be able to perform the same type of tasks as a multicore CPU, but deliver more parallelism by offering more pipelines to process data.
The redesigned engine is optimized to unlock the scale and performance made possible by the disruptive computing power available from today's rapidly evolving, multicore CPU platforms.
To future-proof a load-balancer upgrade or investment, determine whether the vendor's platform is optimized for multicore CPU systems.
Multicore CPU adoption and the need for higher hardware resource utilization is driving enterprises to adopt server virtualization solutions.
is the leading provider of programmer productivity tools, libraries and application development services for homogeneous and heterogeneous multicore CPU and GPU architectures.
It has characterised it as a many-core processor that will be able to perform the same type of tasks as a multicore CPU, but deliver more parallelism by offering more pipelines to process data.
The newly announced Category 9 support makes the Snapdragon 810 processor the first Qualcomm Technologies premium-tier processor to feature a fully-integrated 64-bit multicore CPU and LTE-Advanced multimode modem to support up to 3x20MHz Category 9 Carrier Aggregation, as well as aggregation across FDD and TDD carriers.

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