Code360 powered by Coding Ninjas X Code360 powered by Coding Ninjas X
Table of contents
Need of Parallel Processing
Advantages of Parallel Processing
Disadvantages of Parallel Processing
Key Takeaways
Last Updated: Mar 27, 2024

Parallel Processing

Author Jaglike Makkar
Data structures & algorithms (Beginner to Intermediate)
Free guided path
13 chapters
99+ problems
Earn badges and level up


Playing a simple video game on a computer uses audio, images, calculations, rendering, etc. If a single CPU handles all these things, it will take time to process them. On the other hand, using multiple CPUs to handle various jobs will work much more smoothly. This process of executing multiple tasks concurrently is called parallel processing.

Parallel processing is used to enhance the performance of a computer by performing multiple instructions simultaneously. Unlike sequential processing, parallel architecture can divide a job into parts and multi-task them. That means concurrent execution of instructions is possible. Thus, the computational speed of the computer will increase.

One of the significant components of the CPU is ALU (Arithmetic Logic Unit). It is helpful to execute any instruction on the computer. ALU is divided into several functional units:

All these units will work concurrently and produce the required output.

For Example:

  1. The system may have two or more ALUs and can execute multiple instructions simultaneously.
  2. The system may have multiple processors operating simultaneously.
  3. The following instruction can be fetched while the current instruction is being executed in ALU.

The primary purpose of parallel processing is to increase the computer processing capability and its throughput. We can achieve parallel processing by using multiple functional units that can perform identical or different operations concurrently to distribute the data among these functional units.

                                          With and without parallel processing


Recommended Topic, Microinstruction in Computer Architecture and Operating System.

Need of Parallel Processing

  1. Application demands: With increasing technology, modern applications require more computing cycles. Examples include videos, high graphic games, databases, science models, etc.
  2. Technology Trends: With the increasing number of transistors on a chip, clock rates are expected to go up but slowly. 
  3. Economics: Instead of costly components used in traditional supercomputers, today's microprocessors offer high performance and have multiprocessor support.
Get the tech career you deserve, faster!
Connect with our expert counsellors to understand how to hack your way to success
User rating 4.7/5
1:1 doubt support
95% placement record
Akash Pal
Senior Software Engineer
326% Hike After Job Bootcamp
Himanshu Gusain
Programmer Analyst
32 LPA After Job Bootcamp
After Job

Advantages of Parallel Processing

  1. It increases the speed and efficiency of computers. Sequential computing forces fast processors to do things inefficiently.
  2. Computers can be used to solve more complex and more extensive problems. A single web app may have to process millions of requests every second with so much data.
  3. For a system that has to support billions of operations (for example, bank software), parallel processing makes things cheaper.
  4. Parallel computing is more suited for hardware since serial computing wastes the computing power of processors.

Disadvantages of Parallel Processing

  1. Increases the cost of computers since more hardware is required. 
  2. Multicore architectures consume higher power.
  3. Parallel architectures are difficult to achieve.
  4. A parallel computing system needs different code tweaking depending on the target architecture.
  5. It increases the overhead cost due to synchronization and data transfers.

Also See, Shift Registers in Digital Electronics and what is middleware


1. What is parallel processing?

Ans Parallel processing divides a big task into smaller tasks and executes these smaller tasks concurrently to get the output. It increases the speed and efficiency of computers.

2. What is the use of parallel processing?

Ans Parallel processing increases the speed and efficiency of computers. Computers can perform much more computations within the given time; thus, user experience is enhanced.

Key Takeaways

In this article, we studied what parallel processing is. We saw the need for parallel processing, its advantages and disadvantages. If you want to learn more about such topics, you can visit Coding Ninjas Studio.

Recommended Reading:

MVVM Architecture Android

Demand Paging in OS

If you think that this blog helped you share it with your friends!. To be more confident in data structures and algorithms, try out our DS and Algo Course.

Until then, All the best for your future endeavors, and Keep Coding.

Next article
Guided path
Data structures & algorithms (Beginner to Intermediate)
13 chapters
109+ Problems
Earn badges and level up
Live masterclass