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What is Parallel Programming in the .NET?

Jul 29, 2015

Microsoft has taken a bright step by providing the support for parallel programming in .NET by which you can optimize the use of CPU's and can leverage the benefits of multi core systems.

Many personal computers and workstations have two or four cores (that is, CPUs) that enable multiple threads to be executed simultaneously. Computers in the near future are expected to have significantly more cores. To take advantage of the hardware of today and tomorrow, you can parallelize your code to distribute work across multiple processors. In the past, parallelization required low-level manipulation of threads and locks. Visual Studio 2010 and the .NET Framework 4 enhance support for parallel programming by providing a new runtime, new class library types, and new diagnostic tools. These features simplify parallel development so that you can write efficient, fine-grained, and scalable parallel code in a natural idiom without having to work directly with threads or the thread pool.

Task Parallel Library(TPL) is used for implementing parallel programming in .NET . The Task Parallel Library (TPL) is a set of public types and APIs in the System.Threading and System.Threading.Tasks namespaces. The purpose of the TPL is to make developers more productive by simplifying the process of adding parallelism and concurrency to applications. The TPL scales the degree of concurrency dynamically to most efficiently use all the processors that are available. In addition, the TPL handles the partitioning of the work, the scheduling of threads on the Thread-pool, cancellation support, state management, and other low-level details. By using TPL, you can maximize the performance of your code while focusing on the work that your program is designed to accomplish.

Starting with the .NET Framework 4, the TPL is the preferred way to write multi-threaded and parallel code. However, not all code is suitable for parallelization; for example, if a loop performs only a small amount of work on each iteration, or it doesn't run for many iterations, then the overhead of parallelization can cause the code to run more slowly. Furthermore, parallelization like any multi-threaded code adds complexity to your program execution. Although the TPL simplifies multi-threaded scenarios, we recommend that you have a basic understanding of threading concepts, for example, locks, deadlocks, and race conditions, so that you can use the TPL effectively.

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