The Online Encyclopedia and Dictionary







A pipeline is a conduit made from pipes connected end-to-end, used mostly to transport fluids like water or petroleum over long distances.

The term pipeline is also often used metaphorically in computer science, electrical engineering, and general manufacturing, to describe a set of processing elements or stages arranged in a chain, so that the output of one element is input for the next one — much like water flowing from one pipe segment to the next. Pipelining increases the overall throughput of the system. For example, a drive through may be sped up by ordering the workflow as a pipeline. Instead of a single drivethrough window that takes the order, takes the cash and provides the food, these tasks may be arranged in a pipeline so that different workers can handle the different tasks, speeding up the overall drivethrough experience. See:

Last updated: 05-13-2005 07:56:04