Symmetric Multiprocessing

What Does Symmetric Multiprocessing Mean?

Symmetric multiprocessing (SMP) is a computing architecture in which two or more processors are attached to a single memory and operating system (OS) instance. SMP combines multiple processors to complete a process with the help of a host OS, which manages processor allocation, execution and management.


Techopedia Explains Symmetric Multiprocessing

SMP is primarily implemented in resource-intensive computing environments that require high computing power to execute program and application tasks and processes. This involves the joint installation of two or processors on one machine.

SMP combines hardware and software multiprocessing. The hardware provides raw computing power, and the software manages the segregation, selection and distribution of the hardware processor. SMP hardware capabilities deal with multiple processors, data buses and physical memory support. SMP software capabilities are responsible for OS support, which manages the execution workload of application specific processes over the distributed processing architecture.


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Margaret Rouse 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 explanations have appeared on TechTarget websites and she's been cited as an authority in articles by the New York Times, Time Magazine, USA Today, ZDNet, PC Magazine and Discovery Magazine.Margaret's idea of a fun day is helping IT and business professionals learn to speak each other’s highly specialized languages. If you have a suggestion for a new definition or how to improve a technical explanation, please email Margaret or contact her…