A computer process
which is not limited by the speed of the processor
; but rather of getting the data in and out. For example, web surfing
on a modem
is usually an I/O bound process: most of the time is spent waiting for the data
to come down the modem
, rather than processing the data in the CPU
It's important to understand this to repel the FUD that's put out there by some companies, such as Intel; who claim that by upgrading your processor to a Pentium III, it will speed up your Web browsing. This is known in the industry as bullshit. At best, at best, mind you, it will have a minor effect.
Other examples of I/O bound processes are: most things involving the network, copying large files and more.
The opposite of an I/O bound process is a CPU bound process.