jitter

In voice over IP (VoIP), jitter is the variation in the time between packets arriving, caused by network congestion, timing drift, or route changes.

1) In voice over IP (VoIP), jitter is the variation in the time between packets arriving, caused by network congestion, timing drift, or route changes. A jitter buffer can be used to handle jitter.

2) Jitter is the deviation in or displacement of some aspect of the pulses in a high-frequency digital signal. As the name suggests, jitter can be thought of as shaky pulses. The deviation can be in terms of amplitude, phase timing, or the width of the signal pulse. Another definition is that it is "the period frequency displacement of the signal from its ideal location." Among the causes of jitter are electromagnetic interference (EMI) and crosstalk with other signals. Jitter can cause a display monitor to flicker; affect the ability of the processor in a personal computer to perform as intended; introduce clicks or other undesired effects in audio signals, and loss of transmitted data between network devices. The amount of allowable jitter depends greatly on the application.

This was first published in March 2008

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