There is only one processor in a single processor system. As a result, only one process can be run simultaneously, and the process is chosen from the ready queue. The single-processor systems are found in the majority of general-purpose computers.

Difference Between Single and Multiprocessor Systems

The distinctions between single-processor and multiprocessor systems are numerous. The following are some examples of these:

  • A single processor system has just one processor, whereas a multiprocessor system has two or more processors.
  • Different controllers, such as the DMA (Direct Memory Access) Controller, are used in single-processor systems to do specific tasks. On the other hand, Multiprocessor systems contain multiple processors that can each do a distinct task. Multiprocessing can be done symmetrically or asymmetrically.
  • Systems with a single CPU can be more expensive than systems with multiple processors. Because the memory, peripherals, and other components are shared, an n-processor multiprocessor system is less expensive than n separate single-processor system.
  • A single processor system is easier to build than a multiprocessor one. This is due to the fact that all of the processors in a multiprocessor system must be synchronized, which can be rather difficult.
  • A multiprocessor system has a higher throughput than a single processor system. If the throughput of n single processor systems is T, the throughput of a multiprocessor system with n processors will be less than T.
  • Single-processor systems are less reliable than multiprocessor systems since the system cannot function if the processor breaks for any reason. The other processors can pick up the burden even if one CPU fails in a multiprocessor system. The system’s throughput is only slightly reduced.
  • Most modern personal computers use single processors, with multiprocessors being employed exclusively in specialized systems.

In summary, single-processor systems feature a single processor (CPU), which is divided into time-slices and shared among users. Because the time slices are so brief, each user gets the sense that their programs are running indefinitely. Operating systems with multiple processors have more than one processor.

Visit our blog page to learn more about single and multiprocessor design.


  • Editor in Chief Editor-in-Chief of CTE Solutions, Lester is a tech security analyst, cybersecurity professional, and a white hat hacker.