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2. Sequential Processing

Also referred to as serial processing.

Sequential processing is when instructions are carried out, one at a time, in the order in which they were received.

Consider a graphical image, made up of pixels:

a grid of pixels

Looking at the image above you might decide that you wanted to change all of the red pixels to blue. You might also, at the same time, want to change all blue pixels to red.

A sequential processor would examine each pixel one at a time and apply the processing instruction.

So in the image above, it might start at the blue pixel in the top left-hand side and then change that to red. It would then move along to the next blue pixel and make the required change - it cannot change every pixel at the same time.

This would work but it is inherently slow. What if we could process more than one pixel at the same time? This would speed the processing up by a massive amount. This is called parallel processing.

Challenge see if you can find out one extra fact on this topic that we haven't already told you

Click on this link: arrays and matrices