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What is a Buffer Underrun?

 , updated on January 18, 2023
Buffer underrun is a state that occurs when a data buffer is lacking data required by a process. Buffers are often used to compensate for differences in speed between processes or devices that exchange data. A buffer underrun typically occurs when the slower process is unexpectedly faster.

Example

A streaming media player buffers a video because the video can normally be downloaded faster than the speed at which the video plays. A buffer underrun occurs when the video plays faster than it can be downloaded. This results in a poor user experience as the video stops or appears to skip.
Overview: Buffer Underrun
Type
Low-level Computing
Definition
A state that occurs when a data buffer is lacking data required by a process.
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