Middleweight Thread

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What Does Middleweight Thread Mean?

A middleweight thread is an instance of a sequence of code that works as a unit. This is normally done on behalf of a single user, transaction or message in a computer program. Threads are sometimes described by weight, which refers to the amount of contextual information that must be saved by the thread in order to make it useful to the system as a reference.

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Techopedia Explains Middleweight Thread

Modern OS kernels are considered middleweight threads because multiple threads can exist in a single address space. This reduces the amount of context that needs to be saved for each one, significantly decreasing the switching time. In contrast, a Unix process is considered a heavyweight thread. Most user-level threads are considered lightweight threads.

A thread and a task are very similar and are often confused. The OS considers a running program a task, giving each task a turn at performing an operation. If a program requests that a file be saved, the OS creates a thread. Most of today’s operating systems support multitasking and multithreading to provide efficient application processing.

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Margaret Rouse
Technology Expert
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.