symmetric multiprocessing

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symmetric multiprocessing

(parallel)
(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.
References in periodicals archive ?
John Fowler, executive vice president, Network Systems Group, Sun, said, "The combination of Sun Fire V40z servers and our Solaris 10 operating system, which has been optimized for AMD64 technology and dual-core processing, represents the next logical step for enterprise customers looking for a complete two-way through eight-way server solution in their data centers.
Through the Crossbar Coalition, Axil, Hewlett-Packard and Data General intend to raise awareness of the benefits of eight-way server technology, promote Windows NT as a platform for mission-critical enterprise applications, and support the introduction of new products based on the Adaptive Memory Crossbar.
Scott Stallard, general manager of HP's Network Server Division, stated, "By partnering with Axil Computer, HP is providing its enterprise customers with eight-way server technology, the HP NetServer LXr Pro8, that delivers the scalability and performance needed for such mission-critical tasks as online transaction processing and enterprise resource planning.
Introduced last March, the Northbridge NX801 server is the industry's first eight-way server with Pentium Pro processors running the Windows NT operating system -- and the only one shipping.
The original intent for both the Raven servers, as well as their AS/400e variants, was to provide eight-way SMP clustering through ganging up two four-way Apache cards, much as Intel is doing by marrying two of its four-way Pentium III Xeon motherboards to create the Profusion eight-way servers.
Based on the initial tests performed by Compaq, the Profusion eight-way servers do a considerably better job of scaling than the Axil Computer (now defunct) design used in the current HP NetServer server line.
From HP ProLiant blade and eight-way servers to the HP Itanium family of servers to Windows Server 2003 assessment, planning, design and implementation services and solutions, HP is ready to help customers of all sizes realize immediate cost savings through implementation of Windows Server 2003.
NEC CSD's product line up boasts the Express5800 HV8600, one of the few eight-way servers currently available.