Burst Mode

What Does Burst Mode Mean?

Burst mode is a temporary high-speed data transmission mode used to facilitate sequential data transfer at maximum throughput. Burst mode data transfer rate (DTR) speeds can be approximately two to five times faster than normal transmission protocols.


Different types of devices employ a burst mode, including random access memory (RAM), hard drive interfaces and accelerated graphics ports. Burst mode functionality is device-dependent, and does not require input from other devices.

Techopedia Explains Burst Mode

Burst mode retrieves and transmits high-speed data via the following resources and features:

  • Data Bus: Permits a single device to have total control over a bus until data transmission is complete. During transmission, no other device has bus accessibility.
  • RAM: Includes synchronous dynamic random access memory (SDRAM), Rambus DRAM (RDRAM), double-data-rate synchronous DRAM (DDR-SDRAM) or extended data out (EDO). RAM is arranged to enable saved memory data extraction prior to an actual request.
  • Hard Disk Drive (HDD): This includes high-speed HDD interfaces, like small computer system interface (SCSI) mode. Ultra3 SCSI increases maximum burst rate from 80-160 MBps.
  • Accelerated Graphics Port: Uses a write-combining buffer to enable the temporary combination of data and storage for future burst mode use and transmission.

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Margaret Rouse 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 explanations have appeared on TechTarget websites and she's been cited as an authority in articles by the New York Times, Time Magazine, USA Today, ZDNet, PC Magazine and Discovery Magazine.Margaret's idea of a fun day is helping IT and business professionals learn to speak each other’s highly specialized languages. If you have a suggestion for a new definition or how to improve a technical explanation, please email Margaret or contact her…