AskDefine | Define handshaking

Dictionary Definition

handshaking n : grasping and shaking a person's hand (as to acknowledge an introduction or to agree on a contract) [syn: handshake, shake, handclasp]

User Contributed Dictionary





  1. A greeting by clasping hands.
    A round of handshakings followed the introductions.
  2. A step in a protocol in which information is exchanged between computing processor devices; often as part of the initiation process for communications.
    I waited for the modems to finish handshaking so I could start transferring the file.

Extensive Definition

In information technology, telecommunications, and related fields, handshaking is an automated process of negotiation that dynamically sets parameters of a communications channel established between two entities before normal communication over the channel begins. It follows the physical establishment of the channel and precedes normal information transfer.
It is usually a process that takes place when a computer is about to communicate with a foreign device to establish rules for communication.
When a computer communicates with another device like a modem or a printer it needs to handshake with it to establish a connection.
Handshaking may be used to negotiate parameters that are acceptable to equipment and systems at both ends of the communication channel, including, but not limited to, information transfer rate, coding alphabet, parity, interrupt procedure, and other protocol or hardware features.
Handshaking makes it possible to connect relatively heterogeneous systems or equipment over a communication channel without the need for human intervention to set parameters. One classic example of handshaking is that of modems, which typically negotiate communication parameters for a brief period when a connection is first established, and thereafter use those parameters to provide optimal information transfer over the channel as a function of its quality and capacity. The "squealing" (which is actually a sound that changes in pitch 100 times every second) noises made by some modems with speaker output immediately after a connection is established are in fact the sounds of modems at both ends engaging in a handshaking procedure; once the procedure is completed, the speaker might be silenced, depending on the driver. Modem handshakes can often be muted by going to the control panel and selecting the appropriate options.
handshaking in German: Datenflusskontrolle
handshaking in Italian: Handshake
handshaking in Polish: Handshake
handshaking in Portuguese: Handshake
handshaking in Chinese: 握手 (技术)
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