A parallel‐processor computer contains multiple CPUs that share such system resources as memory and disk storage. A parallel‐processor computer is expanded not by adding another computer, but by plugging another CPU into the computer. This technology offers expandability, compact size, high performance, high reliability, and moderate cost. The Sequent Balance Parallel‐Processor Computer is described in some detail. A fully configured Balance 21000 can execute 21 MIPS (million instructions per second). It implements the UNIX operating system, which has been widely adopted. As a result, many software packages for word processing and other applications are available from third‐party vendors. Performance tests conducted by CLSI, Inc. indicate that twenty concurrent users on a parallel‐processor system can perform CPU‐intense functions up to seven times faster than on a single‐processor system.
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