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1. Introduction

We have previously mentioned that the Von Neumann architecture is a sequential processing machine. It carries out one instruction at a time.

But what if we could process more than one piece of data at the same time? This would dramatically speed up the rate at which processing could occur.

This is the idea behind 'parallel processing'.

Parallel processing is the simultaneous processing of data.

There are a number of ways that parallel processing is carried out.

We will look at these over the next few pages.