atomic operation

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atomic operation

[ə′täm·ik ‚äp·ə′rā·shən]
(computer science)
An operation that cannot be broken up into smaller parts that could be performed by different processors.
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of Scientific & Technical Terms, 6E, Copyright © 2003 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.

atomic

Indivisible. An atomic operation, or atomicity, implies an operation that must be performed entirely or not at all. For example, if machine failure prevents a transaction to be processed to completion, the system will be rolled back to the start of the transaction. See two-phase commit and atom.
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2 The compare_and_swap () atomic primitive tests that the location pointed to by the first argument is equal to the value passed in the second argument.
Implementation of atomic primitives on distributed shared memory multiprocessors.