AskDefine | Define isochronous

Dictionary Definition

isochronous adj : equal in duration or interval; "the oscillations were isochronal" [syn: isochronal]

User Contributed Dictionary



From iso, same + chronous, time


  1. happening at regular intervals
  2. happening at the same time; isochronal
  3. of or pertaining to the use of clocks derived from the same clock reference
    Their entire national telephone network is isochronous, with a clock distribution tree radiating from a single, protected cesium reference clock.
  4. of or pertaining to data associated with time sensitive application
    These packets belong to an isochronous voice application and need priority handling.

Extensive Definition

Isochronous : From Greek iso, equal + chronos, time. It literally means to occur at the same time or at equal time intervals. The term is used in different technical contexts.
  1. Of a periodic signal, pertaining to transmission in which the time interval separating any two corresponding transitions is equal to the unit interval or to a multiple of the unit interval.
  2. Pertaining to data transmission in which corresponding significant instants of two or more sequential signals have a constant phase relationship.
  • In power generation, isochronous means that the frequency of the electricity generated is 'flat' or constant, and there is zero generator droop.
  • In the Universal Serial Bus used in computers, isochronous is one of the four data flow types for USB devices (the others being Control, Interrupt and Bulk). It is commonly used for streaming data types such as video or audio sources.
  • In dynamical system theory an oscillator is called isochronous if the frequency is independent of its amplitude. For instance, in horology, isochronous refers to a mechanical clock or watch which runs at the same rate regardless of changes in its drive force, so it keeps correct time as the mainspring unwinds.
  • in particle accelerators an isochronous cyclotron is a cyclotron where the field strength increases with radius to compensate for relativistic increase in mass with speed
Closely related to the property of being isochronous is the term isochrone referring to contour lines of equal time, for instance, in geological layers, tree rings or wave fronts.
isochronous in Czech: Izochrona
isochronous in Danish: Isokron
isochronous in German: Isochrone
isochronous in French: Isochrone
isochronous in Dutch: Isochroon
isochronous in Portuguese: Isócrono
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