Updated: 11/12/2023 by Computer Hope
60-second stopwatch

A microsecond (symbol µs) is a unit of time equal to one millionth or 1/1,000,000 of a second. It's a brief increment of time used in various scientific and technological contexts. Microseconds are commonly utilized in fields where extremely rapid or precise measurements or actions are involved, such as in computing, electronics, and telecommunications.

For example, in computer processing, the execution time of many basic operations is measured in microseconds. Microseconds are also relevant in the timing of electronic circuits, especially in high-frequency applications.

Microsecond examples

As a microsecond occurs so quickly, it's sometimes hard to comprehend. Here are some real-world examples that might help.

  • Time analogy - A microsecond is to a second what a second is to 11.6 days.
  • Reflexes - A microsecond is about one million times faster than the blink of an eye.
  • Light speed comparison - Light travels at about 671 million miles per hour (300,000 kilometers per second) and is the cosmological speed limit. In one microsecond, light traverses about 300 meters; that's longer than the distance of three American football fields.

What's faster than a microsecond?

A nanosecond is faster than a microsecond.

What's slower than a microsecond?

A millisecond is slower than a microsecond.

Circuit, Electronics terms, Execute, Frequency, Measurements, Second