Small amount of memory used for temporary storage of data, usually to compensate for differences in processing or transmitting speeds of two connected devices, such as a computer and a printer. It serves as a reservoir in which the higher speed device (computer) dumps the data which is then 'trickled' to the slower one (printer). Buffering is also required where a constant high bit rate has to be maintained, such as in compress-decompression process used in transmission or playing of audio/video files. See also cache.

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