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 ?
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.
Incidentally, the odds do not favor Dell introducing a 64-bit Itanium-based eight-way server any time in the future, either, but if the memory requirements of Dell's customers expand beyond the 32GB limit of the current PowerEdge 6650 or the theoretical 64GB upper limit of the current 32-bit Windows platform, Dell might have to do a bigger Itanium box.
It might be server-centric--such as moving from a Dual-Pill server to that new four- or eight-way server. Or, it might be moving from local-storage to a SAN or NAS--but the project requirements are almost always the same:
The best eight-way server performance and best price/performance ever achieved in the TPC-C benchmark was recorded recently by the new Unisys ES7000/520 server.
The Unisys ES7000/520 eight-way server recorded 118,381.38 transactions per minute (tpmC) at $5.56/tpmC, applying the power of the latest Intel Xeon processor MP and Microsoft's SQL Server 2000 Enterprise Edition database running on the Windows Server 2003 Datacenter Edition operating system.
HP leads the eight-way server market with 50.7 percent market share, built upon a simple approach to deliver innovation based on industry standards.
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.
At the second-anniversary celebration of the award-winning AMD Opteron processor, the company announced immediate availability of the Dual-Core AMD Opteron 800 Series processor for four- to eight-way servers. The 200 Series processors for two-way servers and workstations will be available in late May.
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. But IBM was able to move its twelve-way clustering project (ganging up three four-ways together in an SMP using a proprietary supercomputer crossbar switch) forward by a year and used it in the Raven servers first rather than the Blackbirds as originally planned.
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.
With this upcoming product, enterprises will have, for the first time, a choice of x86-based, four to eight-way servers for their critical e-business and database applications."
A 550MHz version with 512KB Level 2 cache for two-way workstations will ship next month, but 1Mb and 2Mb 550MHz versions, intended for four and eight-way servers, won't ship until the third quarter.