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.
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of Scientific & Technical Terms, 6E, Copyright © 2003 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.

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.
This article is provided by FOLDOC - Free Online Dictionary of Computing (foldoc.org)

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.
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References in periodicals archive ?
2,b with nanosecond pulses for the estimated calculation of the pulse energy are divided into triangular areas.
The markings were proven to withstand the 500 cycles, however the study provided evidence that only by using an additional passivation process--developed to exactly match the marking process--can long-term protection against corrosion be achieved for marks made with both short-pulsed (nanosecond) and ultrashort pulsed (picosecond) lasers.
To avoid the interference of patch-clamp to the cell exposed to nanosecond pulsed electric field, patch pipette keeps intact with the cell until 50 s (80-120 s on average) after the exposure.
"This therapy does not cure," says Kwan, "but it can give a person that nanosecond of relief that can make a big difference."
The device offers true hardware simultaneous read/write, 25 nanosecond page-mode read access and 70 nanosecond random asynchronous access, and delivers industry-leading data transfer rates.
The loads, with a 500 nanosecond or 1 microsecond rise time for any load step, are the first commercially available loads capable of testing voltage regulation on power supplies used with today's GHz processor computers and other instant-demand applications.
Sound your horn one nanosecond after the lights change to green if the car in front hasn't sped off.
"For a nanosecond, we considered making recycled compounds," recalls president Thomas Ricciardelli, "but decided up front we were better off making parts for other people."
The thrill is in that nanosecond of quiet when you sense you will finally talk to an actual person--before the hope is dashed by another voice that begins, "Thank you for calling AOL.
Every nanosecond of sound has been painstakingly sharpened and barbed.
Sarraute's trademark is the elaboration of the nanosecond of response--by what torturous routes does a forgotten word return to memory?; how can "they" say "that" to "me"?; why is such and such an expression not exactly appropriate to the situation I wish to describe?--but in the information age, the nanosecond seems no longer worthy to be explored.
MIR was made possible by an inexpensive technique developed in the LLNL's Laser Fusion Program for measuring very rapid signals in experiments in which the Lab's powerful Nova laser heats hydrogen isotopes for about a nanosecond and the energy that is released is measured.