What Does Interleaving Mean?

Interleaving is a process or methodology to make a system more efficient, fast and reliable by arranging data in a noncontiguous manner. There are many uses for interleaving at the system level, including:

  • Storage: As hard disks and other storage devices are used to store user and system data, there is always a need to arrange the stored data in an appropriate way.
  • Error Correction: Errors in data communication and memory can be corrected through interleaving.
  • Multi-Dimensional Data Structures

Interleaving is also known as sector interleave.

Techopedia Explains Interleaving

Interleaving divides memory into small chunks. It is used as a high-level technique to solve memory issues for motherboards and chips. By increasing bandwidth so data can access chunks of memory, the overall performance of the processor and system increases. This is because the processor can fetch and send more data to and from memory in the same amount of time.

Interleaving is the only technique supported by all kinds of motherboards. High-level processing management systems are constantly required to implement such techniques. Interleaving promotes efficient database and communication for servers in large organizations.

There are various types of interleaving:

  1. Two-Way Interleaving: Two memory blocks are accessed at same level for reading and writing operations. The chance for overlapping exists.
  2. Four-Way Interleaving: Four memory blocks are accessed at the same time.
  3. Error-Correction Interleaving: Errors in communication systems occur in high volumes rather than in single attacks. Interleaving controls these errors with specific algorithms.

Latency is one disadvantage of interleaving. Interleaving takes time and hides all kinds of error structures, which are not efficient.


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Margaret Rouse

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…