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A buffer is

a block of memory that temporarily holds data and allows the data to be read or written in larger chunks to improve a computer’s performance. The buffer is used for temporary storage of data read from or waiting to be sent to a device such as a hard disk, CD-ROM, printer, or tape drive.[1]


Buffers are used to offset differences between the operating speeds of different devices, such as a printer and a computer. Buffers are used for many purposes, such as (a) interconnecting two digital circuits operating at different rates, (b) holding data for use at a later time, (c) allowing timing corrections to be made on a data stream, (d) collecting binary data bits into groups that can then be operated on as a unit, (e) delaying the transit time of a signal in order to allow other operations to occur.