(plural wait states)
- (computing) Any of several instances in which a computer's processor cannot execute instructions (either for the entire computer, or just for a specific task) until an I/O operation completes, or until an interrupt is resolved
- With memory that slow, the processor is going to spend most of its time on wait states.
wait state - Computer Definition
The time spent waiting for an operation to take place. Wait states are often idle computer cycles, because a computer's CPU is much faster than main memory. Wait states are introduced between the time the CPU requests data from the RAM (an address is placed on the address bus) until the content has been delivered to the CPU. See address bus.