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Nanosecond (ns)

Definition - What does Nanosecond (ns) mean?

A nanosecond (ns) is equal to one billionth of a second. It is also equal to 1000th of a microsecond, or 1000 picoseconds.

Nanosecond is sometimes abbreviated nsec.

Techopedia explains Nanosecond (ns)

The nanosecond is a particular measure of time that has been applied to information technology in many different ways. As technology improves, the nanosecond has become a common benchmark measurement for different types of scientific and digital processes.

As computer technology evolved, the nanosecond scale became a common way to measure the time that it takes for computers to access memory. These time frames are also often used for laser beam technologies and different kinds of light or radio frequency transmissions.

Some scientists also call a nanosecond a "light-foot" because of the distance that light travels in one nanosecond, which is approximately 11.8 inches. In the past, engineers have compared this speed to the speed of data transfer over wires and cables.

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