Multiprocessors in general-purpose computing have a long and rich history. Embedded multiprocessors have been widely deployed for several decades. The range of embedded multiprocessor implementations is also impressively broad—multiprocessing has been used for relatively low-performance systems and to achieve very high levels of real-time performance at very low energy levels.
Shared memory vs. message passing
There are two major types of multiprocessor architectures as illustrated in Figure 8.3:
• Shared memory systems have a pool of processors (P1, P2, etc.) that can read and write a collection of memories (M1, M2, etc.).
• Message passing systems have a pool of processors that can send messages to each ...