Lightweight Thread

What Does Lightweight Thread Mean?

A lightweight thread is a computer program process, normally a user thread, that can share address space and resources with other threads, reducing context switching time during execution.


Techopedia Explains Lightweight Thread

Threads are typically compared in terms of processing time. For example, a lightweight thread is a thread that takes less processing time, whereas a heavyweight thread is a thread that requires more processing time. Thread processing time is also contingent on the language used for thread implementation. For example, it may be more efficient to use C# to implement a program containing multiple threads.

Modern operating systems, like Mac, allow for more than a single thread in the same address space, reducing switching time between threads. However, this does not make use of multithreading benefits.


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Margaret Rouse
Technology Expert

Margaret is an award-winning technical writer and teacher known for her ability to explain complex technical subjects to a non-technical business audience. Over the past twenty years, her IT definitions have been published by Que in an encyclopedia of technology terms and cited in articles by the New York Times, Time Magazine, USA Today, ZDNet, PC Magazine, and Discovery Magazine. She joined Techopedia in 2011. Margaret's idea of a fun day is helping IT and business professionals learn to speak each other’s highly specialized languages.