symmetric multiprocessing

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symmetric multiprocessing

(SMP) Two or more similar processors connected via a high-bandwidth link and managed by one operating system, where each processor has equal access to I/O devices. This is in contrast to the "compute server" kind of parallel processor where a front-end processor handles all I/O to disks, terminals and local area network etc.

The processors are treated more or less equally, with application programs able to run on any or perhaps all processors in the system, interchangeably, at the operating system's discretion. Simple MP usually involves assigning each processor to a fixed task (such as managing the file system), reserving the single main CPU for general tasks.

OS/2 currently supports so-called HMP (Hybrid Multiprocessing), which provides some elements of symmetric multiprocessing, using add-on IBM software called MP/2. OS/2 SMP was planned for release in late 1993.
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(Symmetric MultiProcessing) An architecture in which two or more processing units share the same memory. SMP dates back to the 1960s when IBM offered a System/360 dual-CPU model. Digital Equipment followed, and companies such as Sequent, Pyramid and Encore specialized in SMP on Unix platforms. Early SMP systems contained multiple single-core CPUs, which evolved into today's chips with multiple cores that are used in every computing device from servers to smartphones (see multicore). All major operating systems support SMP. See Sequent, Encore and Fujitsu Siemens.

A Pool of Resources
One CPU with multiple cores is common in today's computers, and one of the cores loads the SMP operating system. There is only one instance of the OS, and it uses all the cores as a pool of processing resources that execute simultaneously. If one core fails, the system typically goes down. In some cases, the defective core can be disengaged in the BIOS. Contrast with MPP. See multicore and NUMA.

SMP and MPP Processing
With symmetric multiprocessing (SMP), the processing cores (or CPUs) are assigned the next available task or thread that can run concurrently. In massively parallel processing (MPP), the problem is broken up into separate pieces that are processed simultaneously.

SMP and MPP Processing
With symmetric multiprocessing (SMP), the processing cores (or CPUs) are assigned the next available task or thread that can run concurrently. In massively parallel processing (MPP), the problem is broken up into separate pieces that are processed simultaneously.
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References in periodicals archive ?
The killing of the eight-way server means that from here on out, Dell is going to focus on pushing clusters of two-way and four-way machines for both commercial and technical customers.
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The industry's best-performing eight-way server for Web serving and Java applications, the system is well-suited for service providers as well as the data centers of large corporations and other demanding e-business environments.
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