Webopedia on Google+Webopedia on TwitterWebopedia on FacebookTech Bytes Blog
Main » TERM » F »

flow control

(1) In communications, the process of adjusting the flow of data from one device to another to ensure that the receiving device can handle all of the incoming data. This is particularly important where the sending device is capable of sending data much faster than the receiving device can receive it.

There are many flow control mechanisms. One of the most common flow control protocols for asynchronous communication is called xon-xoff. In this case, the receiving device sends a an xoff message to the sending device when its buffer is full. The sending device then stops sending data. When the receiving device is ready to receive more data, it sends an xon signal.

Flow control can be implemented in hardware or software, or a combination of both.

(2) In programming, the statements and other constructs that control the order in which operations are executed. For example, common looping statements such as for��next and while are known as flow control statements. Branching statements, such as if��then are also part of a programming language's flow control mechanism.







TECH RESOURCES FROM OUR PARTNERS
DID YOU KNOW?
It's Happening Now: Perceptual Computing is Real

Perceptual computing is the ability for a computer to recognize what is going on around it. More specifically, the computer can perceive the... Read More »

Apple Pay Promises to Strengthen Payment Security

Experts believe that Apple Pay and other competitive payment systems will be far more secure than cards, even cards equipped with EMV chips. Read More »

The Great Data Storage Debate: Is Tape Dead?

Tape clearly is on the decline. But remember, legacy systems can hang for a shockingly long time. Read More »

QUICK REFERENCE
Network Fundamentals Study Guide

A network is a group of two or more computer systems or devices, linked together to share resources, exchange files and electronic communications.... Read More »

Computer Architecture Study Guide

This Webopedia  study guide describes the different parts of a computer system and their relations. Read More »

Webopedia Polls

The trend for the past two years has been for shoppers to spend more online during the holiday season. How do you typically shop for holiday... Read More »