What Is Throughput?

We all know about input and output. The term that a lot of us have never heard is throughput. Not many people even know that this term exists, never mind what it actually means.

The dictionary definition of this term is “the amount of raw material that is processed in a specific time period”. The actual raw material tends to vary depending on the industry though. This term is most often used with regards to the amount of data a computer or algorithm is able to process in a given period of time.

In this case, the data will be the raw material and the output that the ends up with. The time will be measured between the time that the data goes in and the time that the output comes out. It will generally differ depending on how much data is put in and how complex the process is. Some processes have an exponential increase in processing time while others have a linear increase in processing time. It all depends on how the program was written and what kind of processing is actually being done.

I hope that you now have a better understanding of this rather interesting and rarely used term!