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quanta is a high-speed timing library, useful for getting the current time very quickly.

code of conduct

NOTE: All conversations and contributions to this project shall adhere to the Code of Conduct.


The API documentation of this library can be found at

general features

  • time in nanoseconds
  • super fast! (see the benchmarks)
  • high-precision mode!
  • mockable!
  • cross-platform! (we target Linux, Windows, macOS, Solaris, *BSD)
  • fun, science-y name!


quanta provides high-speed access to the native system timing facilities and in general, with optimized assembly turned off, is generally on par with the standard library and external crates:

test bench::time_clocksource_counter       ... bench:      30,060 ns/iter (+/- 2,051)
test bench::time_clocksource_counter_delta ... bench:      74,790 ns/iter (+/- 2,897)
test bench::time_clocksource_time          ... bench:      30,439 ns/iter (+/- 2,571)
test bench::time_clocksource_time_delta    ... bench:      60,429 ns/iter (+/- 5,393)
test bench::time_hotmic_now                ... bench:      30,202 ns/iter (+/- 1,643)
test bench::time_hotmic_now_delta          ... bench:      59,499 ns/iter (+/- 5,829)
test bench::time_hotmic_raw                ... bench:      29,371 ns/iter (+/- 2,110)
test bench::time_hotmic_raw_delta          ... bench:      66,385 ns/iter (+/- 2,904)
test bench::time_instant_delta             ... bench:      64,285 ns/iter (+/- 3,311)
test bench::time_instant_now               ... bench:      18,603 ns/iter (+/- 1,116)

The non-delta tests represent the time it takes to take a single time measurement, while the delta tests represent the time to take two measurements and calculate the delta. We can see that without using the optimized assembly features that both quanta and clocksource provide, taking single measurements is slower than [Instant::now] but generally consumes the same amount of time overall to take the measurements and calculate the delta, around 60-65ns.

Using optimized assembly, things can be much faster:

test bench::time_clocksource_counter       ... bench:      11,424 ns/iter (+/- 848)
test bench::time_clocksource_counter_delta ... bench:      36,813 ns/iter (+/- 2,047)
test bench::time_clocksource_time          ... bench:      25,499 ns/iter (+/- 2,101)
test bench::time_clocksource_time_delta    ... bench:      50,761 ns/iter (+/- 3,114)
test bench::time_hotmic_now                ... bench:      18,918 ns/iter (+/- 1,591)
test bench::time_hotmic_now_delta          ... bench:      38,367 ns/iter (+/- 2,134)
test bench::time_hotmic_raw                ... bench:      10,984 ns/iter (+/- 814)
test bench::time_hotmic_raw_delta          ... bench:      29,635 ns/iter (+/- 1,685)
test bench::time_instant_delta             ... bench:      63,968 ns/iter (+/- 3,805)
test bench::time_instant_now               ... bench:      18,096 ns/iter (+/- 1,381)

Both quanta and clocksource provide a way for the caller to get the "raw" measurement from the underlying time source, which is an unrefined value that needs to be scaled by a reference time source to end up as a meanginful value. This is provided for taking measurments in tight loops where the deltas can be calculated after the fact. For clocksource, the counter mode is the raw value, and time mode is the Instant::now equivalent. For quanta, raw mode and now are as described above.

We can see that both quanta and clocksource are measurably faster than Instant::now both in taking the discrete measurements and computing the delta. quanta, however, edges out clocksource.

why use this over stdlib or clocksource?

The performance alone is enough to choose this over the stdlib timing facilities if you're doing performance-critical work or need high-accuracy point-in-time measurements, which Instant is just not suitable for.

When compared to clocksource, though, we have a few extra features that can make the difference:

  • Clock can be mocked, allowing you to easily control the passage of time in your tests
  • Clock provides a start and end method which, in optimized asm mode, can replace calls to raw and provide more accuracy in the measurement of the code in between


quanta is licensed under the MIT license. (LICENSE or