Mathematica licenses contain seats for controlling kernels, controlling front ends, subordinate kernels (subkernels) and subordinate front ends (sub front ends). A Mathematica session initially consists of one controlling front end (the notebook interface) and one controlling kernel. If parallel computations are requested, then subkernels are added to the Mathematica session. If subkernels require sub front ends, then sub front ends are started automatically.

A common license consists of two controlling kernels and eight subkernels (and a matching number of front ends). If your computer has more than eight CPU cores and you would like to run a correspondingly higher number of local subkernels on it, then you can purchase a Mathematica Core Extension license.

A Mathematica Core Extension license extends the number of subkernels you can use on your computer for parallel tasks only. Depending on your parent license, you may either purchase

  • a four-core extension, which adds four subkernels to your license or
  • a gridMathematica extension, which adds 16 subkernels

While purchasing your Mathematica product, we recommend discussing with your Wolfram Sales Representative the number of CPU cores you would like to use. If you do not know your Wolfram Sales Representative, please contact Wolfram Customer Support to connect you.

If you have already purchased a Mathematica Core Extension license and Mathematica is not launching additional subkernels, then please check your kernel configuration settings.

For a list of parallel functions in Mathematica, see the guide page on Parallel Computing.

For detailed instructions on using parallel functionality, see the Parallel Computing Tools User Guide.