Parallel processing

Updated: 05/01/2023 by Computer Hope
Parallel processing

Parallel processing is the method of distributing computer tasks between two or more CPUs, or a CPU (central processing unit) or GPU (graphics processing unit) with multiple cores. Much like a real-life project, splitting a larger job into separate processes allows a computer to complete its goals in less time. Using the analogy of building a house, it would be like one person working on the framing while the other runs the electrical wiring.

Parallel processing requires a compatible operating system with appropriate capabilities or software written specifically to complete tasks in parallel.

Parallel processing types

With parallel processing, there are two main types: SIMD (single instruction, multiple data) and MIMD (multiple instruction, multiple data). The first involves two or more processors (or cores) that follow the same instructions while each unit deals with different data sets. SIMD is generally utilized to analyze large data sets that are based on the same benchmarks.

The second type, MIMD, involves a situation where each computer or processor uses two or more of its own processors or cores and receives data from different sources.

CPU terms, Embarrassingly parallel, Parallel computer, Parallel execution, Sequential processing