Monolithic System

Monolithic system can have different meanings in the contexts of computer software and hardware.

In software

A software system is called "monolithic" if it has a monolithic architecture, in which functionally distinguishable aspects (for example data input and output, data processing, error handling, and the user interface) are all interwoven, rather than containing architecturally separate components.[1]

Mainframe computers used a monolithic architecture with considerable success. Monolithic architectures implemented on DOS and earlier Windows based PCs often worked poorly with multiple users[]. This performance degradation is mainly due to poor mechanisms for record locking and file handling across local area networks.[]

In hardware

An electronic hardware system, such as a multi-core processor, is called "monolithic" if its components are integrated together in a single integrated circuit. Note that such a system may consist of architecturally separate components – in a multi-core system, each core forms a separate component – as long as they are realized on a single die.


  1. ^ Rod Stephens (2 March 2015). Beginning Software Engineering. John Wiley & Sons. pp. 94-. ISBN 978-1-118-96916-8.

  This article uses material from the Wikipedia page available here. It is released under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share-Alike License 3.0.



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