nanosecond

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nanosecond

[′nan·ə‚sek·ənd]
(mechanics)
A unit of time equal to one-billionth of a second, or 10-9 second.

nanosecond

(unit)
(ns) 10^-9 seconds; one thousand millionth part of a second.

This is the unit in which the fundamental logical operations of modern digital circuits are typically measured. For example, a microprocessor with a clock frequency of 100 megahertz will have a 10 nanosecond clock period.

nanosecond

(1) One billionth of a second. Used to measure the speed of logic and memory chips, a nanosecond can be visualized by converting it to distance. In one nanosecond, electricity travels approximately a foot in a wire. Admiral Grace Hopper was famous for handing out strands of "telephone wire nanoseconds" to her audience whenever she lectured about technology. Holding the wire turns the unreal concept of a billionth of a second into reality.

Even at 186,000 miles per second, electricity is never fast enough for the hardware designer who worries over a few inches of circuit path. The slightest delay is multiplied millions of times, since billions of pulses are sent through a wire in a single second. In addition, today's chips contain more than a thousand feet of wire traces, which are the circuit pathways that carry electricity. See space/time, jiffy and ohnosecond.

(2) The time between a traffic light turning green and a New York City cab driver blowing his horn.
References in periodicals archive ?
After a few nanoseconds, this chain exits the tube and is replaced by another chain, and so on.
Each gate driver exhibits output rise and falls times under 25 nanoseconds with matched output rise times.
Today's fastest write heads require roughly 2 nanoseconds to switch a bit between 0 and 1.
During the tests, Ixia's Optixia X16 was used to verify that the S2410 demonstrated 100 percent line-rate throughput across 24 Ten Gigabit Ethernet ports at all packet sizes with switching latency of 300 nanoseconds, the lowest recorded to date by The Tolly Group.
For a fusion reactor to produce an energy gain, it must confine its fuel long enough, usually no less than a few nanoseconds, to ignite a self-sustaining thermonuclear burn.
Supporting 24 line-rate 10 Gigabit Ethernet ports and Infiniband-like switching latency of 300 nanoseconds in a compact form factor, the Force10 S2410 establishes the following three critical benchmarks:
With the capacitors now available, the Z machine can deliver in a few hundred nanoseconds a pulse of as much as 20 megamperes of electric current to the wire cage.
During testing, the Force10 S2410 demonstrated 100 percent line-rate throughput across 24 Ten Gigabit Ethernet ports at all packet sizes with latency of 300 nanoseconds -- the lowest switch latency recorded to date by The Tolly Group.
In effect, the photon conveyor belt extends the life of an electron-hole pair from mere nanoseconds to microseconds.