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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 ?
Even in high-performance computing there are areas that aren't yet ready for the new multicore machines.
The Cell Workstation Development System includes a CAB, high-end dual-processor Opteron workstation running Linux and Windows, and the Mercury MultiCore Plus Advantage software.
Intel Pentium M dualcore chips will ship for portable computers in early-2006, with plans for more than 70% of all shipping mobile processors to be multicore devices by the end of 2006.
The framework of MEHV supports Cortex-A53 multicore processor architectures in AMP, SMP or a combination of both.
1) With highly optimized instrumentation and analysis, LDRA aggregates the coverage data across the various processors in the multicore system without the typical overhead of mutexes.
Poly-Platform, together with Compaan HotSpot Parallelizer, provides designers with next-level analysis and implementation capabilities, simplifying multicore programming.
LabVIEW offers a suitable programming environment for multicore processors because of its intuitive environment for creating parallel algorithms.
In parallel, the Multicore Association has developed standards to help untangle the programming complexities associated with today's powerful multicore processors.
Multicore and manycore system development often gets sidetracked because development tool vendors and runtime systems for these programs are challenged to support the virtually unlimited number of processor configurations.
Multicore DSPs are designed as system-on-chips (SoC) that include functionalities, such as network coprocessors, security accelerators or FFT accelerators.
Software and services company Enea AB (STO:ENEA) announced on Tuesday that it is supporting the Multicore Association's Multicore Communications API (MCAPI) standard by implementing MCAPI over its Enea LINX interprocess communications (IPC) solution.
Multicore WS200 is resistant to humidity and slump and is formulated to minimize any defects due to voiding.

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