What is Frequency?

by ECS, Inc. International
on 24 May 2013









Frequency is the rate at which something occurs or is repeated over a particular period of time. The rate of frequency is most often measured in cycles per second or the interchangeable Hertz. 60 cycles per second is equal to 60 Hertz. A thousand Hertz is often referred to as a Kilohertz (kHz).

Frequency can also be measured in time where the duration of a given cycle is equal to its frequency; where a thousandth of a second is stated as a millisecond. One millisecond equals a Kilohertz. An example: Frequency describes the number of waves that pass a fixed place in a given amount of time. 

So for the time it takes for a wave to pass is half a second. Then the frequency is 2 per second or 2 Hertz. If two hundred and forty (240) waves pass in an hour, the frequency is 4 Hertz. The faster the cycle repeats, the higher the frequency.

In an electronic circuit, there are many processes that need to happen at a given rate and interval in order for the circuit to perform correctly. Some of the processes are timed for maximum performance like transmitting voice, video or data. Others are timed so they occur at specific intervals like data storage and retrieval, memory or a user interface like a keypad or a mouse.

Frequency rates are what coordinate all the process in a circuit to occur at the specific rate and interval for optimal performance.

In our next video, we will be discussing the deviations of frequencies in Quartz Clocks, also known as Frequency Stability and Tolerance.