What are the characteristics of Multiprocessor?

A multiprocessor is a single computer that has multiple processors. It is possible that the processors in the multiprocessor system can communicate and cooperate at various levels of solving a given problem. The communications between the processors take place by sending messages from one processor to another, or by sharing a common memory.

Characteristics of Multiprocessor

There are the major characteristics of multiprocessors are as follows −

  • Parallel Computing − This involves the simultaneous application of multiple processors. These processors are developed using a single architecture to execute a common task. In general, processors are identical and they work together in such a way that the users are under the impression that they are the only users of the system. In reality, however, many users are accessing the system at a given time.
  • Distributed Computing − This involves the usage of a network of processors. Each processor in this network can be considered as a computer in its own right and have the capability to solve a problem. These processors are heterogeneous, and generally, one task is allocated to a single processor.
  • Supercomputing − This involves the usage of the fastest machines to resolve big and computationally complex problems. In the past, supercomputing machines were vector computers but at present, vector or parallel computing is accepted by most people.
  • Pipelining − This is a method wherein a specific task is divided into several subtasks that must be performed in a sequence. The functional units help in performing each subtask. The units are attached serially and all the units work simultaneously.
  • Vector Computing − It involves the usage of vector processors, wherein operations such as ‘multiplication’ are divided into many steps and are then applied to a stream of operands (“vectors”).
  • Systolic − This is similar to pipelining, but units are not arranged in a linear order. The steps in systolic are normally small and more in number and performed in a lockstep manner. This is more frequently applied in special-purpose hardware such as image or signal processors.

Updated on: 27-Jul-2021

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