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Multi-processing refers to the ability of a system to support more than one processor at the same time. Applications in a multi-processing system are broken to smaller routines that run independently. The operating system allocates these threads to the processors improving performance of the system.
In a symmetric multi-processing, a single OS instance controls two or more identical processors connected to a single shared main memory. Most of the multi-processing PC motherboards utilize symmetric multiprocessing.
On the other hand, asymmetric multi-processing designates system tasks to be performed by some processors and applications on others. This is generally not as efficient as symmetric processing due to the fact that under certain conditions a single processor might be completely engaged while the other is idle.