Part of the Computing fundamentals glossary:

(This definition follows U.S. usage in which a billion is a thousand million and a trillion is a 1 followed by 12 zeros.)

A microsecond (us or Greek letter mu plus s) is one millionth (10 -6 ) of a second.

For comparison, a millisecond (ms or msec) is one thousandth of a second and is commonly used in measuring the time to read to or write from a hard disk or a CD-ROM player or to measure packet travel time on the Internet.

A nanosecond (ns or nsec) is one billionth (10 -9 ) of a second and is a common measurement of read or write access time to random access memory ( RAM ).

A picosecond is one trillionth (10 -12 ) of a second, or one millionth of a microsecond.

A femtosecond is one millionth of a nanosecond or 10 -15 of a second and is a measurement sometimes used in laser technology.

An attosecond is one quintillionth (10 -18 ) of a second and is a term used in photon research.

This was last updated in August 2007
Posted by: Margaret Rouse

Related Terms

Definitions

  • MIS (management information systems)

    - MIS represents the most critical -- and often, most proprietary and difficult to upgrade -- applications used internally by enterprises. (SearchDataCenter.com)

  • flash storage

    - Flash storage, based on flash memory, is used for data repositories, storage systems and consumer devices, such as USB drives, smartphones and solid-state drives. Flash-based storage is faster than... (WhatIs.com)

  • statistical mean, median, mode and range

    - Calculating the mean, median, mode and range of a set of numbers allows you to track changes over time and set acceptable ranges and variance. Here's how to find your data's mean, median, mode or r... (SearchDataCenter.com)

Glossaries

  • Computing fundamentals

    - Terms related to computer fundamentals, including computer hardware definitions and words and phrases about software, operating systems, peripherals and troubleshooting.

  • Internet applications

    - This WhatIs.com glossary contains terms related to Internet applications, including definitions about Software as a Service (SaaS) delivery models and words and phrases about web sites, e-commerce ...

Ask a Question. Find an Answer.Powered by ITKnowledgeExchange.com

Ask An IT Question

Get answers from your peers on your most technical challenges

Ask Question

Tech TalkComment

Share
Comments

    Results

    Contribute to the conversation

    All fields are required. Comments will appear at the bottom of the article.