• Unit 8: Parallel Processing

    This unit will address several advanced topics in computer architecture, focusing on the reasons for and the consequences of the recent switch from sequential processing to parallel processing by hardware producers. You will learn that parallel programming is not easy and that parallel processing imposes certain limitations in performance gains, as seen in the well-known Amdahl's law. You will also look into the concepts of shared memory multiprocessing and cluster processing as two common means of improving performance with parallelism. The unit will conclude with a look at some of the programming techniques used in the context of parallel machines.

    Completing this unit should take you approximately 3 hours.

    • 8.1: The Reason for the Switch to Parallel Processing

    • 8.2: Limitations in Parallel Processing: Amdahl's Law

    • 8.3: Shared Memory and Distributed Memory Multiprocessing

    • 8.4: Multicore Processors and Programming with OpenMP and MPI

    • Unit 8 Assessment