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Throughput

In general terms, throughput is the rate of production or the rate at which something can be processed. When used in the context of communication networks, such as Ethernet or packet radio, throughput or network throughput is the rate of successful message delivery over a communication channel. The data these messages belong to may be delivered over a physical or logical link, or it can pass through a certain network node. Throughput is usually measured in bits per second (bit/s or bps), and sometimes in data packets per second (p/s or pps) or data packets per time slot. The system throughput or aggregate throughput is the sum of the data rates that are delivered to all terminals in a network. Throughput is essentially synonymous to digital bandwidth consumption; it can be analyzed mathematically by applying the queueing theory, where the load in packets per time unit is denoted as the arrival rate (), and the throughput, in packets per time unit, is denoted as the departure rate (). The throughput of a communication system may be affected by various factors, including the limitations of underlying analog physical medium, available processing power of the system components, and end-user behavior. When various protocol overheads are taken into account, useful rate of the transferred data can be significantly lower than the maximum achievable throughput; the useful part is usually referred to as goodput.

Richard Goodwin

Richard Goodwin is a leading UK technology journalist with a focus on consumer tech trends and data security. Renowned for his insightful analysis, Richard has contributed to Sky News, BBC Radio 4, BBC Radio 2, and CNBC, making complex tech issues accessible to a broad audience.

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