What Does Hyperthreading Mean?

Hyperthreading (HT) technology is a proprietary technology owned by Intel Corp. that is designed to improve overall superscalar CPU performance by using simultaneous hardware multithreading. A superscalar CPU architecture implements parallel threads of information units, a process known as instruction-level parallelism (ILP). A CPU with multithreading capability can simultaneously execute different program parts, such as threads.


HT allows a multithreaded application to implement threads in parallel from a single multicore processor, which executes threads in linear form. HT’s main advantage is that it allows for the simultaneous execution of multiple threads, which improves response and reaction time while enhancing system capabilities and support.

Techopedia Explains Hyperthreading

An HT processor contains two sets of registers: the control registers and basic registers. A control register is a processing register that controls or changes the CPU’s overall performance by switching address mode, interrupt control or coprocessor control. A basic register is a storage location and part of the CPU. Both logical processors have the same bus, cache and performance units. During execution, each register handles threads individually.

Older models with similar techniques were built with dual-processing software threads that divided instructions into several streams and more than one processor executed commands. PCs that multithread simultaneously have hardware support and the ability to execute more than one information thread in parallel form.

To ensure optimum results, a PC system requires several components, including a compatible motherboard chipset, a basic input/output system (BIOS) and HT technology-supported upgrades, and a compatible operating system (OS).

HT was developed by Digital Equipment Corporation, but was brought to market in 2002, when Intel introduced the MP-based Foster Xeon and released the Northwood-based Pentium 4 with 3.06 GHz. Other HT processors entered the marketplace, including the Pentium 4 HT, Pentium 4 Extreme Edition and Pentium Extreme Edition.


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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…