7. Distributed processing

This is a form of parallel processing.

distributed processingA single task is split up into a number of smaller tasks. Each of these is run on a separate computer. The results are then gathered together. A distributed operating system co-ordinates all the activity.

For example, film animation and CGI takes a vast amount of processing time. This is kept to a manageable level by using a 'render farm'.

A render farm is a large collection of computers networked together and controlled by a distributed operating system. Individual film frames are allocated to the computers.

There are also efforts to combine the idle processing capacity of internet-connected personal computers. Together the millions of connected computers are more powerful than the largest super-computer. Projects such as the 'SETI-At-Home' and the 'The Clean Energy Project' make use of this kind of distributed 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: Distributed operating systems