Linux - Symmetric Multiprocessing
Tim Jones gives a brief overview of SMP and
discusses working with the Linux kernel:
"As processor frequencies reach their limits, a popular way to increase
performance is simply to add more processors. In the early days, this meant adding
more processors to the motherboard or clustering multiple independent computers together.
Today, chip-level multiprocessing provides more CPUs on a single chip, permitting
even greater performance due to reduced memory latency.
You'll find SMP systems not only in servers, but also desktops, particularly with
the introduction of virtualization. Like most cutting-edge technologies, Linux provides
support for SMP. The kernel does its part to optimize the load across the available
CPUs (from threads to virtualized operating systems). All that's left is to ensure
that the application can be sufficiently multi-threaded to exploit the power in SMP."