1. Introduction

Now that a practical speed limit for a single computer chip has been reached - which is around 3.6GHz, engineers are now using parallel and multi-core design to increase computing performance.

We have mentioned a number of times previously that the Von Neumann architecture is a sequential processing machine.

But what if we could process more than one piece of data at the same time? This would dramatically speed up the rate at which processing could occur.

This is the idea behind 'parallel processing'.

Parallel processing is the simultaneous processing of data.

There are a number of ways that parallel processing is carried out.

There are also other ways to speed up processing.

We will look at these over the next few pages.





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