Difference Between Multiprocessing and Multiprogramming

By Aina Parasher|Updated : June 21st, 2022

Difference Between Multiprocessing and Multiprogramming: Multiprogramming refers to having many programs executing at the same time, while multiprocessing refers to having more than one physical processor. The difference between multiprocessing and multiprogramming is that multiprocessing involves running many processes at the same time on various processors, whereas multiprogramming involves keeping multiple programs in the main memory and running them simultaneously on a single CPU.

Parallel processing is used in multiprocessing, whilst moving from one process to another is used in multiprogramming. We have discussed the difference between multiprocessing and multiprogramming along with a brief introduction of multiprocessing and multiprogramming in the upcoming sections.

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Difference Between Multiprocessing and Multiprogramming

Multiprocessing allows the processing of multiple processes at the same time by using multiple CPUs whereas, multiprogramming allows various programs in main memory at the same time using only one CPU. Here, we have provided the difference between multiprocessing and multiprogramming in the table given below.

Key Difference Between Multiprocessing and Multiprogramming

MultiprocessingMultiprogramming
Multiprocessing refers to the availability of more than one processor per system that may execute multiple sets of instructions simultaneously.Multiprogramming is the process of running multiple programs in the main memory at the same time.
The processing of jobs takes less time. The processing of the jobs takes longer.
This allows for the simultaneous execution of many processes.One process can be run at a time in this method.
It has several processors to do the work.

Batch OS is used. During execution, the CPU is fully utilized.

The efficiency of multiprocessing is maximum.The efficiency of multiprogramming is minimum.
More than one CPU is required.Only one CPU is required in multiprogramming.

What is Multiprocessing?

A system with two or more processors is known as multiprocessing. CPUs are added to this to increase the system's computational speed. Multiprocessing allows for the execution of multiple processes at the same time. Multiprocessing is further divided into two categories: symmetric and asymmetric multiprocessing. 

  • Symmetric Multiprocessing: One processor runs the operating system, while the other processors run user programs. 
  • Asymmetric Multiprocessing: The OS operates on any available processor, or the user program runs on all processors at the same time. 

What is Multiprogramming?

Multi-programming involves running multiple processes at once to maximize CPU utilization by structuring jobs (code and data) so that the CPU always has one to do. The goal is to keep several tasks in the main memory. CPU can be assigned to another job if one job becomes busy with input/output. 

Because multiple programs are stored in memory, the next program is dispatched for consumption as soon as the current program completes its execution. 

  • Multiprogramming's main goal is to maximize CPU utilization. 
  • Main memory management that is effective. 

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FAQs on Difference Between Multiprocessing and Multiprogramming

  • The basic difference between multiprocessing and multiprogramming is that multiprogramming allows numerous applications to run at the same time on a single device while a single device uses numerous processing units in multiprocessing.

  • Multiprocessing refers to the availability of many processors per system that may execute multiple sets of instructions concurrently. It requires more than one CPU.

  • Multiprogramming is the concept of loading many programmes into memory that will be executed by the processor. Let's say we have two programmes in memory. The first software loaded is currently being run. It may demand user interaction or the user to wait for data at some point. The CPU is idle during the waiting period. Rather than wasting time, the CPU will now start running the second programme.

  • Based on the efficiency, the difference between multiprocessing and multiprogramming is that multiprocessing is more efficient because it executes more than one process at a time whereas multiprogramming is less efficient as it executes one process at a time.

  • Based on the throughput, the difference between multiprocessing and multiprogramming is that multiprocessing has maximum throughput while multiprogramming has less throughput.

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