What Does Pipelining Mean?

Pipelining is the process of accumulating and executing computer instructions and tasks from the processor via a logical pipeline. It allows storing, prioritizing, managing and executing tasks and instructions in an orderly process.


Pipelining is also known as pipeline processing.

Techopedia Explains Pipelining

Pipelining is primarily used to create and organize a pipeline of instructions for a computer processor to processes in parallel. Typically, pipelining is an ongoing process where new tasks are added frequently and completed tasks are removed. Each of these tasks has different stages or segments and leaves the pipeline after the completion of the processing at a specified time. All of these tasks are executed in parallel and are provided a fair share of processor time based on their size, complexity and priority. Pipelining can include any tasks or instructions that need processing time or power.


Related Terms

Margaret Rouse

Margaret is an award-winning technical writer and teacher known for her ability to explain complex technical subjects to a non-technical business audience. Over the past twenty years, her IT definitions have been published by Que in an encyclopedia of technology terms and cited in articles by the New York Times, Time Magazine, USA Today, ZDNet, PC Magazine, and Discovery Magazine. She joined Techopedia in 2011. Margaret's idea of a fun day is helping IT and business professionals learn to speak each other’s highly specialized languages.