Asynchrony, in computer programming, refers to the occurrence of events independently of the main program flow and ways to deal with such events. These may be "outside" events such as the arrival of signals, or actions instigated by a program that take place concurrently with program execution, without the program blocking to wait for results. Asynchronous input/output is an example of the latter cause of asynchrony, and lets programs issue commands to storage or network devices that service these requests while the processor continues executing the program. Doing so provides a degree of parallelism.
A common way for dealing with asynchrony in a programming interface is to provide subroutines (methods, functions) that return to their caller an object, sometimes called a future or promise, that represents the ongoing events. Such an object will then typically come with a synchronizing operation that blocks until the operation is completed. Some programming languages, such as Cilk, have special syntax for expressing an asynchronous procedure call.
synchronization refers to one of two distinct but related concepts: synchronization of processes, and synchronization of data. Process synchronization refers to the idea that multiple processes are to join up or handshake at a certain point, in order to reach an agreement or commit to a certain sequence of action. Data synchronization refers to the idea of keeping multiple copies of a dataset in coherence with one another, or to maintain data integrity. Process synchronization primitives are commonly used to implement data synchronization.