7. Distributed processing
This is a form of parallel processing.
A 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.
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Click on this link: Distributed operating systems