Thirty years ago, an operating system, DOS, could fit on a 3.5 inch disk. A spreadsheet, Lotus 123, could also fit on a 3.5 inch disk. Programs were small and compact. They could run on an 8088 microprocessor and with about 64K of RAM. However, today’s programs could not even be loaded under such conditions. Programs not only are big, they are processor intensive.
In today’s computer experience, the software performs many more operations than simply delivering a report, or a spreadsheet. Computers operate with video and audio streaming; there is the Internet, the cloud, and client-server operations. Today computers are not the hardware that was functional years ago, and the processor has had to do more because the programs demand more. That is why parallel processing is so important now.
In a typical computer, the CPU will be idle over 70% of the time, except when you start doing any of the operations just mentioned, and then it may not be able to handle those tasks. The CPU was redesigned to do multiple tasks, and this became parallel processing. Multiple cores, like dual core or quad core, became part of the CPU architecture to enhance processing. The Bright Hub guide to parallel processing offers users the opportunity to read articles, look at the history, and view the developments of the CPU and parallel processing.