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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 ?
Beginning with Green Hills Software's pioneering efforts of robust partitioning for single-core processors, its list of accomplishments continues today with certified operating systems for today's highly capable ARMv8 multicore SoCs.
As a result, safety- and security-critical coverage analysis is safely and efficiently aggregated without degrading runtime performance and without sacrificing the integrity of the Green Hills Software multicore application environment.
Since its introduction in late 2012, Loctite Multicore HF 212 has been steadily enabling more robust printing processes at manufacturers around the globe.
With the growing popularity of OpenFlow, this demonstration is believed to bring multicore fibre networks one big step closer to their practical realisation.
Customers can take existing C/C++ code and easily recompile for the multicore xCORE devices.
Finally, we recommend directions for future research to inspire the research community to invent new ideas to model and evaluate the future multicore computing paradigms.
MTAPI is aligned with our previously released specifications, Multicore Resource Management API (MRAPI) and the Multicore Communications API (MCAPI).
Prism is an award winning Eclipse-based embedded multicore programming system which allows software engineers to easily assess and realize the full potential of multicore processors without significant changes to their existing development flow.
Compared with the company's 40nm KeyStone multicore DSPs and System-on-Chips (SoCs), KeyStone II devices offer developers more than twice the capacity and performance and an improvement in power performance ratio.
Our multicore DSPs offer performance and innovation like no other solution out there for industrial automation developers," said Brian Glinsman, general manager of TI's communications infrastructure and multicore business.
Mathematical and statistical algorithms optimized for performance on multicore architectures have become keys to progress in various aspects of engineering high-performance plastics, polymer modeling, and other aspects of plastics research, NAG says.
Mathematical and statistical algorithms optimized for performance on multicore architectures have become key to progress in various aspects of technical application development and computationally-intensive problem-solving.

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