(n.) A fluid in which fine particles of iron, magnetite or cobalt are suspended, typically in an oil. A ferrofluid is superparamagnetic and can create liquid seals held in position by magnetic fields. One application of ferrofluids is to keep dust off of the drive shafts of magnetic disk drives.
Ferrofluids were invented by NASA as a way to control the flow of liquid fuels in space.
To load an instruction or piece of data from memory into a CPU’s register. All instructions must be fetched before they can be executed. The time it takes to fetch an item is known as the fetch time or fetch cycle, and is measured in clock ticks.
- fetch cycle
See under instruction cycle.
- Fiber Optics
A technology that uses glass (or plastic) threads (fibers) to transmit data. A fiber optic cable consists of a bundle of glass threads, each of which is capable of transmitting messages modulated onto light waves. Fiber optics has several advantages over traditional metal communications lines: Fiber optic cables have a much greater bandwidth than metal […]
) (1) A space allocated for a particular item of information. A tax form, for example, contains a number of fields: one for your name, one for your Social Security number, one for your income, and so on. In database systems, fields are the smallest units of information you can access. In spreadsheets, fields are […]
(n.) A collection of data or information that has a name, called the filename. Almost all information stored in a computer must be in a file. There are many different types of files: data files, text files , program files, directory files, and so on. Different types of files store different types of information. For […]