Multi-Core Technology Overview
Multi-core and Hyper-Threading for outstanding performance
Conventional Single-Core Processing
Traditional applications are single-threaded, which means they process commands in order, one at a time. For example, a single-threaded application that needs to run three reports would start with report one, and wait until that was completed before starting report two, and so on.
Today many commercial applications and operating systems are multi-threaded, and capable of utilizing more than one processor at the same time. They can handle multiple tasks simultaneously. In our example above, all three reports could be processed at the same time if the system had multi-core capability.
The greatest boost in performance comes from running multi-threaded operating systems and applications on multi-core servers and workstations.
Dual-core technology offers processing efficiencies
The first implementation of multi-core technology today features dual-core processors - two physical cores in one chip - with a dedicated processor cache module per core.
In the future, chips with four or more physical cores are planned as technology matures and software evolves to better harness the performance benefits of multi-threading.
With multi-core technology, a single processor can efficiently process multiple threads because each of the processor's cores can execute one thread at full speed.
By packaging two processor cores together, dual-core processors can increase performance without greatly increasing the total amount of power consumed and the total amount of heat emitted.
Hyper-Threading technology enhances processing performance
Hyper-Threading on a Single Core Processor
Hyper-Threading is a form of multi-threading that is integrated into many Intel® processors. Hyper-Threading allows a single core processor to execute two threads by adding a "virtual" thread alongside the physical thread.
While performance can be enhanced with Hyper-Threading, the potential for improvement is less than if the server had two physical processors cores because there is some processing overhead in handling the "virtual" thread
Multi-core and Hyper-Threading increase efficiency and performance
Hyper-Threading and Multi-Core Processors
Dual-core processors are designed to be able to handle two physical threads. With Hyper-Threading, the dual-core processor is designed to simultaneously handle four software instructions at the same time - two physical and two virtual - all within a single processor chip.
This architecture - the combination of multi-core and Hyper-Threading - can deliver outstanding performance and scalability now and for the future.