Glossary of Printing & Digital Media Terms

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Term Definition

Direct Memory Access. A fast way of transferring data within (and sometimes between) computers. For example, DMA is often used to read data from a LAN adapter board and write it into a PC's memory (and vice versa). A DMA controller (often on a PC's motherboard) seizes the bus periodically (for example, once for every 16-bit transfer) to read data from the adapter, then seizes it again to write it to memory (therefore requiring two bus cycles per transfer).

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