Monolithic system

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Monolithic system can have different meanings in the contexts of computer software and hardware.

In software[edit]

A software system is called "monolithic" if it has a monolithic architecture, in which functionally distinguishable aspects (for example data input and output, data processing, error handling, and the user interface) are all interwoven, rather than containing architecturally separate components.[1]

Mainframe computers used a monolithic architecture with considerable success. Monolithic architectures implemented on DOS and earlier Windows based PCs often worked poorly with multiple users[citation needed]. This performance degradation is mainly due to poor mechanisms for record locking and file handling across local area networks.[citation needed]

In hardware[edit]

An electronic hardware system, such as a multi-core processor, is called "monolithic" if its components are integrated together in a single integrated circuit. Note that such a system may consist of architecturally separate components – in a multi-core system, each core forms a separate component – as long as they are realized on a single die.


  1. ^ Rod Stephens (2 March 2015). Beginning Software Engineering. John Wiley & Sons. pp. 94–. ISBN 978-1-118-96916-8.