Definition

nanosecond (ns or nsec)

Part of the Nanotechnology 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 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). Admiral Grace Hopper famously handed out foot-long lengths of wire to students to illustrate how far an electrical signal can travel in a nanosecond.

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

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.


See also: Grace Hopper nanosecond.

This was last updated in July 2006
Posted by: Margaret Rouse

Related Terms

Definitions

  • smart machines

    - Smart machines are systems that use machine learning to perform work traditionally conducted by humans in an effort to boost efficiency and productivity. (SearchCIO.com)

  • stepper

    - A stepper is a machine used to project the image of a circuit in photolithographic semiconductor fabrication. The stepper conducts light exposure through a mask to project the circuit’s image, much... (WhatIs.com)

  • carbon nanotube computer

    - A carbon nanotube computer is one with a processor that uses carbon nanotubes as its semiconductor material. The standard semiconductor for processors is silicon, which is expected to eventually r... (WhatIs.com)

Glossaries

  • Nanotechnology

    - Terms related to nanotechnology, including manufacturing definitions and words and phrases about building machines at a molecular level.

  • 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 About nanosecond (ns or nsec)Powered by ITKnowledgeExchange.com

Get answers from your peers on your most technical challenges

Tech TalkComment

Share
Comments

    Results

    Contribute to the conversation

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