How does Node.js handle child threads

Node.js operates on a single-threaded event loop architecture, which means it uses a single thread to handle asynchronous I/O operations. However, it does support child processes that can be used to execute separate threads and perform CPU-intensive tasks.

Node.js provides the child_process module, offering functionalities to create, manage, and communicate with child processes. There are two main methods for spawning child processes:

  1. spawn(): This method launches a command in a new process and provides a stream for I/O to and from the child process.
  2. fork(): Specifically designed for creating new Node.js processes, this method allows communication between the parent and child process using a message-passing mechanism built on top of inter-process communication.

Each child process is a completely independent instance of the Node.js runtime, with its own memory space. These child processes can execute code in parallel with the main Node.js process. Communication between the parent and child processes is achieved via event-based messaging using stdin, stdout, and stderr streams or through inter-process communication mechanisms like send() and message events.

This capability to spawn child processes allows Node.js applications to offload CPU-intensive tasks, utilize multiple cores, and run concurrent operations while still maintaining the advantages of the single-threaded event loop for handling I/O-bound operations.

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