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The 0-1 knapsack problem is well known to be NP-complete problem. In the past two decades, much effort has been done in order to find techniques that could lead to algorithms with a reasonable running time. This paper proposes a new parallel algorithm for the 0-1 knapsack problem where the optimal merging algorithm is adopted. Based on an EREW PRAM machine with shared memory, the proposed algorithm utilizes O((2n/4)1-e) processors, 0 ≤ ε ≤ 1, and O(2n/2) memory to find a solution for the n-element 0-1 knapsack problem in time O(2n/4(2n/4)e). Thus the cost of the proposed parallel algorithm is O(2n/2), which is both the lowest upper-bound time and without memory conflicts if only quantity of objects is considered in the complexity analysis for the 0-1 knapsack problem. Thus it is an improvement result over the past researches.