Hyperthreading is a technique that enables computer users to make one CPU act like multiple CPUs. Hyperthreading allows different parts of the CPU to carry out several concurrent tasks. This makes the CPU appear as though it is more than one unit. Hyperthreading is also known as simultaneous multi-threading.
How can a CPU achieve hyperthreading? First, it needs to have two sets of circuits that monitor the CPU’s state. These states include the CPU’s instruction pointer and registers.
The CPU uses the circuits as temporary storage facilities to keep track of what tasks it is currently performing. During the actual hyperthreading process, the circuits of the CPU are duplicated to around five percent. At this point, the performance of the CPU increases to about six times its previous rate.
Apart from the above-mentioned pieces of hardware, a CPU also needs software that support hyperthreading. The most important of these is the operating system. The computer’s operating system should support the use of multiple CPU’s. Examples of operating systems that support hyperthreading include Windows NT 4.0 and Windows XP Professional. Most of the UNIX variants also support hyperthreading.
Hyperthreading is implemented in systems that perform heavy tasks. Online businesses use servers that apply the said technique. Hyperthreading allows web-based companies to be available on the Internet all the time. It also increases the security of data stored in their servers.
Gaming systems also use computers that run in hyperthread mode. This lets the computers display the graphics and provide faster processing using the same resources.