abstraction layer

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abstraction layer

Software that translates a high-level request into the low-level commands required to perform the operation. The most common abstraction layer is the programming interface (API) between an application and the operating system. High-level calls are made to the operating system, which executes the necessary instructions to perform the task.

The domain names and URLs on the Internet are another common abstraction layer, enabling an alphabetic name such as computerlanguage.com to be converted into the numeric IP address of the Web server (see Internet domain name).

Multiple Layers of Abstraction
Today's applications are often programmed in multiple layers of abstraction. For example, a program can be written by selecting menu options and dragging icons around the screen. These movements may be translated into a high-level language that is translated into a low-level language, which is translated into machine language. The farther away from the machine language of the computer that an operation is programmed, the more instructions are executed to perform the task.

Combine this with the interaction of the operating system, which itself may be executing 10 times as many instructions as necessary, and you understand why even on a fast computer, a user may be able to press the keyboard keys faster than the program can accept the input. Considering modern personal computers execute upwards of two billion instructions per second, compared to the first PCs that executed one million, the extra machine cycles are absorbed layer to layer, each one telling the next one what to do. See level of abstraction.
References in periodicals archive ?
The abstraction layer will hide implementation details of connecting and performing the tasks by its interface.
For the future, we plan to develop another abstraction layer of data management in clouds.
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In addition, VIYYA(TM) Server Edition delivers robust search engine technology and contains a search engine abstraction layer that allows it to adapt to other search technologies with ease.
Flexible, Low Maintenance Testing - Offers a powerful GUI abstraction layer that maps the graphical elements of the application under test to their automatically constructed counterpart objects in SilkTest.
This version additionally includes a new set of fully configurable abstraction layer adapters for TL0 toTL1 and TL1 toTL2.
This breakthrough technology allows Standards-based application components to be deployed on FPGAs without the use of resource-sapping proxies, softcore GPPs or other hardware abstraction layers.
It enables design and simulation at any level of abstraction and reuse of design components and testbenches across abstraction layers, even while designers refine their designs.