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Non-uniform memory access (NUMA) is a specific build philosophy that helps configure multiple processing units in a given computing system. In non-uniform memory access, individual processors work together, sharing local memory, in order to improve results.
Multiprocessing is a type of system that has become standard in many commonly used devices, for example, laptop computers and smartphones. In a multi-processing system, multiple CPUs or processes work on a single motherboard. As such, they need to be connected in some way. A traditional system has a bus connecting all of the "cores" or processors together.
Non-uniform memory access is a configuration component that enables those individual processes to work together in a greater number of ways. TechTarget describes this as adding "an intermediate level of memory" to let data flow without going through the bus, and describes NUMA as "cluster in a box."
For example, chips such as i5 and i7 processors are mostly quad core, which means they have four processors in a multiprocessing setup. When connected to a shared storage cache, a symmetric multiprocessing system can be implemented.
Non-uniform memory access is likely to be a component of what engineers look at as they continue to prove processor speed and performance. It is largely assumed that when greater performance is needed in the technology market, companies will find ways to put more and more processors together in one computing system to keep making systems faster and faster, in what some would call the "Moore's law" of processing speed.