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

SearchCompliance

  • 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.

  • audit program (audit plan)

    An audit program, also called an audit plan, is an action plan that documents what procedures an auditor will follow to validate ...

SearchSecurity

  • computer worm

    A computer worm is a type of malicious software program whose primary function is to infect other computers while remaining ...

  • black hat

    Black hat refers to a hacker who breaks into a computer system or network with malicious intent.

  • copyright

    Copyright is a legal term describing ownership of control of the rights to the use and distribution of certain works of creative ...

SearchHealthIT

  • population health management (PHM)

    Population health management (PHM) is a discipline within the healthcare industry that studies and facilitates care delivery ...

  • ICD-10-PCS

    The International Classification of Diseases, 10th Revision, Procedure Coding System (ICD-10-PCS) is a U.S. cataloging system for...

  • U.S. National Library of Medicine (NLM)

    The U.S. National Library of Medicine (NLM) is the largest biomedical library in the world.

SearchDisasterRecovery

  • 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 ...

  • mass notification system (MNS)

    A mass notification system is a platform that sends one-way messages to inform employees and the public of an emergency.

SearchStorage

  • hybrid hard drive (HHD)

    A hybrid hard drive (HHD), sometimes known as a solid-state hybrid drive (SSHD), is a mass storage device that combines a ...

  • USB flash drive

    A USB flash drive -- also known as a stick, thumb or pen drive -- is a plug-and-play portable storage device that uses flash ...

  • open source storage

    Open source storage is data storage software developed in a public, collaborative manner that permits the free use, distribution ...

SearchSolidStateStorage

  • RRAM or ReRAM (resistive RAM)

    RRAM or ReRAM (resistive random access memory) is a form of nonvolatile storage that operates by changing the resistance of a ...

  • JEDEC

    JEDEC is a global industry group that develops open standards for microelectronics.

  • M.2 SSD

    An M.2 SSD is a solid-state drive (SSD) that conforms to a computer industry specification written for internally mounted storage...

SearchCloudStorage

  • Google Cloud Storage

    Google Cloud Storage is an enterprise public cloud storage platform that can house large unstructured data sets.

  • RESTful API

    A RESTful application program interface breaks down a transaction to create a series of small modules, each of which addresses an...

  • cloud storage infrastructure

    Cloud storage infrastructure is the hardware and software framework that supports the computing requirements of a private or ...

Close