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Computer systems have traditionally been designed with the goal of maximizing the use of the central processing unit (CPU) foremost in the minds of the architects. This approach has resulted from the great expense of designing and building this component of computer systems. Over the years, the trend has been to construct larger and more expensive CPUs, to provide hardware and software constructs to maximize CPU utilization, and to share these resources among many simultaneously executing programs. This was assumed to result in the most cost-effective solution to computational requirements and, incidentally, to provide a means for customers to acquire more powerful computer systems. This strategy has resulted in the design of the large multiprogrammed system complexes of which the IBM Enterprise System and System/390 architectures are recent examples.
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