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“In order to achieve multitasking on a single conventional processor, it is favorable to use threads” Justify your comments with appropriate reasons.

 

In computing, multitasking is a method where multiple tasks, also known as processes, share common processing resources such as a CPU. In the case of a computer with a single CPU, only one task is said to be running at any point in time, meaning that the CPU is actively executing instructions for that task. Multitasking solves the problem by scheduling which task may be the one running at any given time, and when another waiting task gets a turn. The act of reassigning a CPU from one task to another one is called a context switch. When context switches occur frequently enough the illusion of parallelism is achieved. Even on computers with more than one CPU (called multiprocessor machines), multitasking allows many more tasks to be run than there are CPUs.

Operating systems may adopt one of many different scheduling strategies, which generally fall into the following categories:

  • In multiprogramming systems, the running task keeps running until it performs an operation that requires waiting for an external event (e.g. reading from a tape) or until the computer's scheduler forcibly swaps the running task out of the CPU. Multiprogramming systems are designed to maximize CPU usage.
  • In time-sharing systems, the running task is required to relinquish the CPU, either voluntarily or by an external event such as a hardware interrupt. Time sharing systems are designed to allow several programs to execute apparently simultaneously. The expression 'time sharing' was usually used to designate computers shared by interactive users at terminals, such as IBM's TSO, and VM/CMS
  • In real-time systems, some waiting tasks are guaranteed to be given the CPU when an external event occurs. Real time systems are designed to control mechanical devices such as industrial robots, which require timely processing.

The term time-sharing is no longer commonly used, having been replaced by simply multitasking, and by the advent of personal computers and workstations rather than shared interactive systems

As multitasking greatly improved the throughput of computers,Threads were born from the idea that the most efficient way for cooperating processes to exchange data would be to share their entire memory space. Thus, threads are basically processes that run in the same memory context. Threads are described as lightweight because switching between threads does not involve changing the memory context.

While threads are scheduled preemptively, some operating systems provide a variant to threads, named fibers, that are scheduled cooperatively. On operating systems that do not provide fibers, an application may implement its own fibers using repeated calls to worker functions. Fibers are even more lightweight than threads, and somewhat easier to program with, although they tend to lose some or all of the benefits of threads on machines with multiple processors.[citation needed]

Some systems directly support multithreading in hardware.

Multithreading

Multithreading extends the idea of multitasking into applications, so you can subdivide specific operations within a single application into individual threads. Each of the threads can run in parallel. The OS divides processing time not only among different applications, but also among each thread within an application.

Applications that take advantage of multithreading have numerous benefits, including the following:

  • More efficient CPU use
  • Better system reliability
  • Improved performance on multiprocessor computers

In many applications, you make synchronous calls to resources, such as instruments. These instrument calls often take a long time to complete. In a single-threaded application, a synchronous call effectively blocks, or prevents, any other task within the application from executing until the operation completes. Multithreading prevents this blocking.

While the synchronous call runs on one thread, other parts of the program that do not depend on this call run on different threads. Execution of the application progresses instead of stalling until the synchronous call completes. In this way, a multithreaded application maximizes the efficiency of the CPU because it does not idle if any thread of the application is ready to run.

 

 

 

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