1. <networking> The signal emitted by a Level 2 Ethernet transceiver at the end of every packet to show that the collision-detection circuit is still connected.

2. A periodic synchronisation signal used by software or hardware, such as a bus clock or a periodic interrupt.

3. The "natural" oscillation frequency of a computer's clock crystal, before frequency division down to the machine's clock rate.

4. A signal emitted at regular intervals by software to demonstrate that it is still alive. Sometimes hardware is designed to reboot the machine if it stops hearing a heartbeat.

See also: breath-of-life packet, watchdog.

(01 Feb 1996)

<cardiology> A complete cardiac cycle, including spread of the electrical impulse and the consequent mechanical contraction.

Synonyms: ictus cordis.

(05 Mar 2000)

heart atrium, heart attack, heart auscultation, heartbeat < Prev | Next > heart biopsy, heart block, heartbreak

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