Friday, August 22, 2008

Data stream

This article is about the more general meaning of the term "data stream". For the UK-specific DSL technology called "Datastream", also see the IP Stream article.

In telecommunications and computing, a data stream is a sequence of digitally encoded coherent signals (packets of data or datapackets) used to transmit or receive information that is in transmission.

In electronics and computer architecture, a data stream determines for which time which data item is scheduled to enter or leave which port of a systolic array, a Reconfigurable Data Path Array or similar pipe network, or other processing unit or block. Often the data stream is seen as the counterpart of an instruction stream, since the von Neumann machine is instruction-stream-driven, whereas its counterpart, the Anti machine is data-stream-driven.