What Does Microsecond Mean?

A microsecond is a unit of time equal to one millionth of a second. It is also equal to one 1000th of a millisecond, or 1000 nanoseconds.


Many of these units of very fine time measurement are used in high-tech laboratories where scientists measure data transfer unaffected by many of the usual limitations.

Techopedia Explains Microsecond

The microsecond is part of a string of time measurements that extends into extremely short periods of time. For instance, a picosecond is a 1000th of a nanosecond, and a femtosecond is a 1000th of a picosecond.

All of these very minute time period references apply to information technology in different ways. Scientists and technology professionals are always looking at how to use more precise time measurements in evaluating technologies.

Although some types of technology use time measurements in the realm of microseconds, other uses involve difficulties related to the time that it takes to perform data transfer activities. For instance, some of the current debate on using microseconds revolves around millisecond and microsecond tools in programming languages like JavaScript, or in web browser technologies. Skilled developers debate the usefulness of these more accurate time measurements given the nature of various tasks, for example, returning bits of information in Java, putting up banners or loading web pages in browsers, or just shuttling information from one place to another. In many cases, various kinds of time bottlenecks make microsecond or even millisecond timing a moot point.


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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…