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A single-core processor is a microprocessor with a single core on a chip, running and computing a single thread at any one time. The system of single-core consumes a considerable amount of time by doing so. A major improvement occurred after the emergence of multi-core processors which have several independent processors on a single chip and can perform many functions at a time.

Increasing parallel trend[edit]

  • Single-core – one processor on a die. Since about 2012, even most smartphone CPUs marketed are no longer single-core; Microcontrollers are still single-core, while there are exceptions.
  • Multi-core – a 'few' processors on a die, e.g. 2, 4, 8.
  • Many-core – a 'large number' of processors on a die, e.g. 10s, 100s, 1000s. Some specialist ASICs/Accelerators and GPUs fall into this category.