In computers, a storage area—typically a reserved portion of RAM—in which data is held to await processing. A buffer is utilized by programs or by the computer's operating system itself, as a means of compensating for the speed differential between the CPU and any external media to or from which data is written. (See also Frame Buffer and RAM.
In chemistry, a buffer is any substance or combination of substances added to a solution which has the effect of preventing a change in the overall pH of a solution. In printing, buffer refers to a compound (such as magnesium nitrate) added to an offset press fountain solution as a means of neutralizing acids and/or bases so as to maintain a desired level of acidity or alkalinity (pH). See Fountain Solution.