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Professional Visual Basic 2012 and .NET 4.5 Programming by Todd Herman, Gastón Hillar, David McCarter, Rob Windsor, Billy Hollis, Bill Sheldon

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Launching Parallel Tasks

It was really difficult to develop applications capable of taking full advantage of multicore microprocessors working with .NET Framework versions prior to .NET Framework 4. It was necessary to launch, control, manage, and synchronize multiple threads using complex structures prepared for some concurrency but not tuned for the modern multicore age.

.NET Framework 4 introduced the new Task Parallel Library (TPL), and .NET Framework 4.5 expanded its capabilities. The TPL was born in the multicore age and is prepared to work with a new lightweight concurrency model. The TPL provides a lightweight framework that enables developers to work with the following parallelism scenarios, implementing task-based designs instead of working with heavyweight and complex threads:

  • Data parallelism—There is a lot of data and it is necessary to perform the same operations for each piece—for example, encrypting 100 Unicode strings using the Advanced Encryption Standard (AES) algorithm with a 256-bits key.
  • Task parallelism—There are many different operations that can run concurrently, taking advantage of parallelism—for example, generating hash codes for files, encrypting Unicode strings, and creating thumbnail representations of images.
  • Pipelining—A mix of task and data parallelism. It is the most complex scenario because it always requires the coordination between multiple concurrent specialized tasks—for example, encrypting 100 Unicode strings using the AES algorithm with ...

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