Contemporary processors contain up to several dozen (or more) distinct processing units, called cores, each able to run one (or sometimes two) independent sequence(s) of instructions in parallel. “Multicore” is the generic term used to refer to physical processors with more than one core.

Software, especially for servers, is able to harness the multiple cores on one or more processors to maximize overall computational power and throughput, similar to the way the multiple cylinders in a car engine contribute to overall horsepower.

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