Browse Definitions:
Definition

wall time (real-world time or wall-clock time)

Wall time, also called real-world time or wall-clock time, refers to elapsed time as determined by a chronometer such as a wristwatch or wall clock. (The reference to a wall clock is how the term originally got its name.)

Wall time differs from time as measured by counting microprocessor clock pulses or cycles. The number of microprocessor clock cycle s per second of wall time depends on the microprocessor's clock speed . The microprocessor clock is not a chronometer, but a signal generator that outputs pulses at a high, precise, constant frequency . The microprocessor clock in a 2- GHz computer ticks twice as fast (2,000,000,000 cycles per second) as the microprocessor clock in a 1-GHz computer (1,000,000,000 cycles per second). The so-called computer clock that displays chronological time in terms of the date, hour, minute, and second displays wall time, not the time in microprocessor cycles.

In practical computing, wall time is the actual time, usually measured in seconds, that a program takes to run or to execute its assigned tasks. When the computer is multitasking, the wall time for each program is determined separately, and depends on how the microprocessor allocates resources among the programs. For example, if a computer multitasks using three different programs for a continuous period of 60 seconds, one program might consume 10 seconds of wall time, the second program 20 seconds, and the third program 30 seconds. But these are not contiguous blocks; instead they are allocated in a rotating fashion, similar to time-division multiplexing in communications practice.

For a computer user, the total amount of elapsed time, as measured in days, hours, minutes, and seconds (denoted in the form dd+hh:mm:ss) that the computer has worked on a specific job is measured in wall time. This is not necessarily a single, contiguous block of time, because a computer may (and usually does) perform more than one job over a given period.

This was last updated in March 2011

Start the conversation

Send me notifications when other members comment.

By submitting you agree to receive email from TechTarget and its partners. If you reside outside of the United States, you consent to having your personal data transferred to and processed in the United States. Privacy

Please create a username to comment.

-ADS BY GOOGLE

File Extensions and File Formats

Powered by:

SearchCompliance

  • internal audit (IA)

    An internal audit (IA) is an organizational initiative to monitor and analyze its own business operations in order to determine ...

  • pure risk (absolute risk)

    Pure risk, also called absolute risk, is a category of threat that is beyond human control and has only one possible outcome if ...

  • risk assessment

    Risk assessment is the identification of hazards that could negatively impact an organization's ability to conduct business.

SearchSecurity

  • phishing

    Phishing is a form of fraud in which an attacker masquerades as a reputable entity or person in email or other communication ...

  • vulnerability disclosure

    Vulnerability disclosure is the practice of publishing information about a computer security problem, and a type of policy that ...

  • incident response

    Incident response is an organized approach to addressing and managing the aftermath of a security breach or cyberattack, also ...

SearchHealthIT

SearchDisasterRecovery

  • business continuity and disaster recovery (BCDR)

    Business continuity and disaster recovery (BCDR) are closely related practices that describe an organization's preparation for ...

  • business continuity plan (BCP)

    A business continuity plan (BCP) is a document that consists of the critical information an organization needs to continue ...

  • call tree

    A call tree -- sometimes referred to as a phone tree -- is a telecommunications chain for notifying specific individuals of an ...

SearchStorage

  • flash memory

    Flash memory, also known as flash storage, is a type of nonvolatile memory that erases data in units called blocks.

  • NAND flash memory

    NAND flash memory is a type of nonvolatile storage technology that does not require power to retain data.

  • NOR flash memory

    NOR flash memory is one of two types of nonvolatile storage technologies.

SearchSolidStateStorage

  • hybrid hard disk drive (HDD)

    A hybrid hard disk drive is an electromechanical spinning hard disk that contains some amount of NAND Flash memory.

Close