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Meaning of CYCLE

Pronunciation:  'sIkul

 
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Computing Dictionary
 
 Definition: 

A basic unit of computation, one period of a computer clock.

Each instruction takes a number of clock cycles. Often the computer can access its memory once on every clock cycle, and so one speaks also of "memory cycles".

Every hacker wants more cycles (noted hacker bill gosper describes himself as a "cycle junkie"). There are only so many cycles per second, and when you are sharing a computer the cycles get divided up among the users. The more cycles the computer spends working on your program rather than someone else's, the faster your program will run. That's why every hacker wants more cycles: so he can spend less time waiting for the computer to respond.

The use of the term "cycle" for a computer clock period can probably be traced back to the rotation of a generator generating alternating current though computers generally use a clock signal which is more like a square wave. Interestingly, the earliest mechanical calculators, e.g. Babbage's difference engine, really did have parts which rotated in true cycles.

[jargon file]

 
Thesaurus Terms
 
 Related Terms: absorption current, AC, active current, aeon, AF, age, alternate, alternating current, ambit, annular muscle, annulus, annus magnus, areola, array, arsis, articulation, atomic cluster, audio frequency, aureole, bank, be here again, beat, benzene ring, bicycle, bicycle-built-for-two, bike, bout, branched chain, bus, buzz, carrier frequency, catch a train, catena, catenation, chain, chain reaction, chaining, chaplet, chauffeur, chopper, circle, circuit, circuiteer, circulate, circumambulate, circumference, circummigrate, circumnavigate, circumvent, circus, close the circle, closed chain, closed circle, come again, come and go, come around, come full circle, come round, come round again, come up again, compass, compound radical, concatenation, conduction current, connection, consecution, continuum, convection current, corona, coronet, course, CPS, crown, cycle of indiction, cycles, date, day, DC, delta current, descent, describe a circle, diadem, diastole, dielectric displacement current, direct current, discus, disk, displacement current, downbeat, drive, drone, eddy current, EHF, electric current, electric stream, emission current, encircle, encompass, endless belt, endless round, entrain, eternal return, exciting current, extremely high frequency, fairy ring, file, filiation, flank, free alternating current, frequency, frequency spectrum, full circle, galvanic current, gamut, garland, generation, girdle, girdle the globe, glory, go about, go around, go by rail, go round, go the round, gradation, great year, gyre, halo, hertz, heterocycle, HF, high frequency, high-frequency current, homocycle, hum, Hz, idle current, Indian file, indiction, induced current, induction current, intermediate frequency, intermit, ionization current, iron, joyride, juice, Kekule formula, kilocycles, kilohertz, lap, lasso, lattice, line, lineage, logical circle, loop, looplet, low frequency, lower frequencies, low-frequency current, magic circle, magnetizing current, make a circuit, make a train, medium frequency, megacycles, megahertz, MF, minibike, molecule, monocycle, monotone, motocycle, motor, motorbike, motorcycle, multiphase current, nexus, noose, O, orbit, oscillate, pattern, pedal, pedicab, pendulum, periodicity, pig, Platonic year, plenum, powder train, progression, pulsate, pulsating direct current, pulse, queue, radical, radio frequency, radius, range, rank, reactive current, reappear, recur, recurrence, recycle, reoccur, repeat, reticulation, return, revolution, revolve, RF, ride, ring, road-bike, roll around, rondelle, rotary current, rotate, rotation, round, round trip, roundel, rounds, routine, row, run, saucer, scale, scooter, sequel, sequence, series, SHF, side chain, sidewalk bike, simple radical, single file, single-phase alternating current, skirt, space-lattice, spark frequency, spectrum, spell, sphincter, spiral, straight chain, stray current, string, succession, superhigh frequency, surround, swath, systole, take a joyride, tandem, taxi, thermionic current, thermoelectric current, thesis, thread, three-phase alternating current, tier, time, tour, trail bike, train, tricycle, trike, turn, two-wheeler, UHF, ultrahigh frequency, undulate, upbeat, upper frequencies, velocipede, very high frequency, very low frequency, VHF, vicious circle, VLF, voltaic current, walk, watt current, wheel, wheel around, windrow, wreath
 

 

 

 

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