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What is the difference between symmetric and asymmetric processing multiprocessing?

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The difference between symmetric and asymmetric multiprocessing: all processors of symmetric multiprocessing are peers; the relationship between processors of asymmetric multiprocessing is a master- slave relationship. More specifically, each CPU in symmetric multiprocessing runs the same copy of the OS, while in asymmetric multiprocessing, they split responsibilities typically, therefore each may have specialized (different) software and roles. The difference between symmetric and asymmetric multiprocessing maybe the result of either hardware or software. Special hardware can be differentiate the multiple processors, or the software can be written to allow only one master and multiple slaves. For instance Suns operating system SunOS Version 4 provides asymmetric multiprocessing, whereas Version 5 (Solaris 2) is symmetric on the same hardware. more
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