Parallelism vs. Concurrency

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The term Parallelism refers to techniques to make programs faster by performing several computations in parallel. This requires hardware with multiple processing units. In many cases the sub-computations are of the same structure, but this is not necessary.

The term Concurrency refers to techniques that make program more usable. Concurrency can be implemented and is used a lot on single processing units, nonetheless it may benefit from multiple processing units with respect to speed. If an operating system is called a multi-tasking operating system, this is a synonym for supporting concurrency.