(architecture)   Not synchronised by a shared signal such as clock or semaphore, proceeding independently.

Opposite: synchronous.

1.   (operating system)   A process in a multitasking system whose execution can proceed independently, "in the background". Other processes may be started before the asynchronous process has finished.

2.   (communications)   A communications system in which data transmission may start at any time and is indicated by a start bit, e.g. EIA-232. A data byte (or other element defined by the protocol) ends with a stop bit. A continuous marking condition (identical to stop bits but not quantized in time), is then maintained until data resumes.

Last updated: 1995-12-08