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Note: Many topics at this site are reduced versions of the text in "The Encyclopedia of Networking and Telecommunications." Search results will not be as extensive as a search of the book's CD-ROM.

A multiprocessor system is a computer that uses more than one processor to process the workload. Off-the-shelf multiprocessor systems are now common. A motherboard that supports Intel processors can be purchased for a few hundred dollars. Most network operating systems now support multiprocessing. Superservers may include an array of processors, along with a custom high-performance bus, tens of megabytes of error-correcting memory, RAID (redundant array of inexpensive disks) systems, and redundant features such as multiple power supplies. Figure 1 illustrates multiprocessing system configurations. On the left, four processors share the same bus. On the right, six multiprocessor systems are interconnected via a high-speed switching fabric.

Figure 1 (see book)

This topic continues in "The Encyclopedia of Networking and Telecommunications" with a discussion of the following:

  • Asymmetrical and symmetrical multiprocessing designs
  • Beowulf multiprocessing system design
  • SMP and parallel architectures
  • Switching fabrics and bus design
  • Loosely coupled, shared-nothing model
  • Tightly coupled model
  • Multithreading (parallel processing) techniques
  • Multiprocessing system categories
  • SMP computers
  • Basic clusters
  • SMP clusters
  • MPP (massively parallel processing) systems
  • Supercomputers
  • Processing intercommunication techniques
  • Message-passing
  • NUMA (Non-Uniform Memory-Access) architecture
  • VI Architecture
  • Trends in multiprocessing
  • HPC (high- performance computing) initiatives
  • Massive parallel processing
  • Distributed computer networks
  • Parallel processing in switch design
  • Reliable server pools

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