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November 13, 2013

Multiprogramming - A Detailed Explanation

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Before going to discuss about Multiprogramming, lets have a look on how a Computer Works. In simple terms when you run a program, the Input devices takes the data and gives it to CPU. CPU works with that data and gives the output to output devices. Finally the Output devices gives us the output. This is the process. Our computer works better if there is synchronization between the input / output devices and CPU. What if the CPU performs faster than the I/O devices ? Confused ? Well, The Central Processing Unit (CPU) is very fast, but the input / output (I/O) devices are slow when compared to CPU. Multiprogramming is a technique developed to minimize the effect of this mismatch between CPU and I/O devices so that the CPU time is more efficiently used.

Multiprogramming is the interleaved execution of two or more separate and independent programs by the same computer.

The multiprogramming operating system runs one program at a time. When that program requires some I / O operation (I mean some additional data), which is a slow process, CPU switches to another program for execution when the second program execution waits for I/O operation, the CPU is allotted a third program and so on.

The CPU switched from one program to another almost instantaneously. At any time only one program has control of the CPU. Thus CPU is almost always busy. The memory is partitioned for several programs to reside in memory. In simple words you can say that the Multiprogramming is nothing but to work with a number of programs at the same time. 

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