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Modern computers and modern smartphones have several CPUs able to do work in parallel. You probably think of several apps running at the same time, but there is more to concurrency; you can have several “actors” do work in parallel in one app, noticeably speeding up program execution. I deliberately say “actors” because simply saying that several CPUs do work in parallel only covers part of the story. In fact, software developers prefer to think of threads, which are program sequences that can potentially run independent of each other. Which CPU actually runs a thread is left to the process scheduling managed by the operating system. We adopt that thread notion and by that abstract from operation system process handling and hardware execution internals.
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- Chapter 18