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Table of contents
1.
Introduction
2.
What is Multitasking?
3.
What is Multiprocessing?
4.
Difference between Multitasking and Multiprocessing
5.
Types of Multitasking:
6.
Advantages of Multitasking:
7.
Types of Multiprocessing: 
8.
Advantages of Multiprocessing:
9.
Frequently Asked Questions
9.1.
What is the difference between multiprocessing and multiprocessor?
9.2.
What is the main difference between multitasking and multithreading?
9.3.
What is multiprocessing with example?
10.
Conclusion
Last Updated: Mar 27, 2024
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Difference Between Multitasking and Multiprocessing

Author Amit Singh
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Roadmap to SDE career at Amazon
Speaker
Anubhav Sinha
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25 Jun, 2024 @ 01:30 PM

Introduction

An operating system serves as a crucial software that oversees computing devices' functionalities, spanning from smartphones and computers to servers and smartwatches. It simplifies user interaction by eliminating the necessity to grasp coding languages. Multitasking allows an OS to handle multiple tasks concurrently, enhancing user productivity. 

difference between multitasking and multiprocessing

Conversely, multiprocessing enables an OS to distribute tasks across multiple processors, improving system performance by executing tasks simultaneously.

In this article, we will learn about multitasking and multiprocessing in detail with their advantages. Then we will differentiate between multitasking and multiprocessing.

So, let’s get started: 

Multiprogramming vs Multiprocessing vs Multitasking vs Multithreading

What is Multitasking?

A multiprogramming system's logical extension is multitasking. It allows it to execute more than one program at the same time. In an operating system, multitasking will enable you to execute multiple programs with different tasks to run simultaneously. In this, the resources like CPU are shared between these processes that are running; the operating system plays a vital role by keeping track of which functionalities of these processes are running so that the transition between these processes can be done without any data loss. 

On a single processor machine, no two tasks can run at the same time; nonetheless, the CPU changes from one task to the next so quickly that it looks like all tasks are running at the same time. Multitasking is built on the principles of time sharing and context switching.

Must Read Multiprogramming vs Multitasking

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What is Multiprocessing?

Multiprocessing is a system in which the total number of processors is more than one. Multiple CPUs are connected to the system so that the speed of computing can be increased.

It is an operating system's capacity to run many processes on a multiprocessor machine at the same time. In this case, a computer employs multiple CPUs at the same time. A Multiprocessing System is a computer with two or more processors that share all resources such as the system bus, memory, and other I/O.

Difference between Multitasking and Multiprocessing

S.No.

Basis

 

Multitasking

Multiprocessing

1.

Resource Utilization Multiple tasks are processes using a single resource. A single device uses multiple processing units.

2.

Isolation of Tasks The process is present in the same CPU. In this multiple processing units are utilized, the process moves from one CPU to another.

3.

Number of processors Because the tasks that are assigned switch after a regular interval, it is called time sharing.  It has more than one processors to carry out the task.

4.

Mechanism employed for task handling Context Switching is used in multitasking.  More tasks can be done within a short interval of time.

5.

Approach to resource utilization Multitasking aims to efficiently utilize a single resource (usually a CPU) by interleaving multiple tasks. Multiprocessing focuses on utilizing multiple processing units (CPUs or cores) simultaneously, enhancing resource utilization.

6.

Management of resources In multitasking, tasks share the same resources, which may lead to resource conflicts. In multiprocessing, tasks can be isolated to run on separate processing units, reducing resource contention.

7.

Scalability of the system Multitasking may face limitations in scalability on a single CPU. Multiprocessing can scale better as more processing units can be added for increased performance.

Also see, IEnumerable vs IQueryable

Types of Multitasking:

There are two types of multitasking - 

  1. Preemptive Multitasking
  2. Cooperative Multitasking
Types of Multitasking:

Advantages of Multitasking:

Following are the advantages of multitasking:

  • Because each process is allocated a specific time quantum for execution, it will reduce starvation.
  • It helps in saving time.
  • It increases productivity.

Types of Multiprocessing: 

Multiprocessing systems are divided into two types –

(a) Symmetric Multiprocessing: The operating system resides on one processor, and the other processors run the user's programs.

(b) Asymmetric Multiprocessing: The operating system on any available processor or all the processors simultaneously runs the user program.

Advantages of Multiprocessing:

The advantages of multiprocessing are as follows −

  • As the workload is distributed evenly between the different processors, it becomes more accurate, and the reliability increases.
  • Multiprocessing is one example of actual parallel processing, which means more than one process executing at the same time.
  • By increasing the number of processors, more work can be completed in less time, increasing the throughput.
  • Cost-saving

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the difference between multiprocessing and multiprocessor?

Multiprocessing is a method of executing multiple processes on single or multiple processors, whereas a multiprocessing system is a computer with multiple processors that work together to run tasks in parallel.

What is the main difference between multitasking and multithreading?

Multitasking refers to the performance of multiple tasks at the same time, whereas multithreading is the process of dividing a single process into multiple threads that can be done concurrently on a single processor.

What is multiprocessing with example?

Multiprocessing refers to the simultaneous execution of multiple processes or tasks using multiple processing units. An example is a web server handling multiple client requests concurrently.

Conclusion

In this article, we have studied schedulers in operating systems. We have also discussed the types of schedulers in detail and learned how multiprocessing, multithreading and multitasking are different.

Recommended Readings: 


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