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

Opposite: synchronous.

<operating system>

1. 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. 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

Nearby terms:

Asymmetric Digital Subscriber LoopasynchronousAsynchronous Balanced Mode

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