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Multiprocessor System to Improve Context Switching

IP.com Disclosure Number: IPCOM000043932D
Original Publication Date: 1984-Oct-01
Included in the Prior Art Database: 2005-Feb-05

Publishing Venue

IBM

Related People

Authors:
Hailpern, BT Nair, R [+details]

Abstract

When small uniprocessors are multiprogrammed, much time can be lost due to context switching between processes. The system organization described herein reduces the time to switch contexts by adding additional processors and memory. Consider a small processor, such as a Z80, that performs a computing task in the context of a larger system, such as the Wire Routing Machine [*]. That processor executes an algorithm, stores and retrieves from memory, and communicates with other processors in the larger system. Under certain applications, that processor must execute more than one instance of an algorithm simultaneously. For example, in the Wire Routing Machine, each processor simulates the actions of many identical virtual processors in a larger virtual machine that has been "folded" into the existing machine.