Multitasking

In computing, multitasking is a method by which multiple tasks, also known as processes, share common processing resources such as a CPU.

In the case of a computer with a single CPU, only one task is said to be running at any point in time, meaning that the CPU is actively executing instructions for that task.

Multitasking solves the problem by scheduling which task may be the one running at any given time, and when another waiting task gets a turn. The act of reassigning a CPU from one task to another one is called a context switch.

When context switches occur frequently enough the illusion of parallelism is achieved.

Even on computers with more than one CPU (called multiprocessor machines), multitasking allows many more tasks to be run than there are CPUs.

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