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multithreading

A feature within a CPU that allows two or more instruction streams (threads) to execute concurrently. Each stream is a "subprocess" that is managed by the CPU and operating system. Today's CPUs support a large number of threads. For example, IBM's POWER8 CPU comes with up to 12 cores, and each core handles eight threads for a total of 96 threads.

Operating systems are written to use multithreading wherever possible; however, applications can also be written to take advantage of this parallel processing. If the application is very complex, the effort can be formidable even for experienced programmers. See SMP, re-entrant code, multicore, multiprocessing and hyperthreading.




Threads Galore
The cover of Software Development Times in November 2012 highlighted the issue that CPUs with many cores provide even more threads for the programmer.






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