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Computing (FOLDOC) dictionary
flow control
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communications, protocol The collection of techniques used
in serial communications to stop the sender sending data until
the receiver can accept it. This may be either software flowcontrol or hardware flow control. The receiver typically
has a fixed size buffer into which received data is written
as soon as it is received. When the amount of buffered data
exceeds a "high water mark", the receiver will signal to the
transmitter to stop transmitting until the process reading the
data has read sufficient data from the buffer that it has
reached its "low water mark", at which point the receiver
signals to the transmitter to resume transmission.