The term sequential access (also sequential access ) describes a type of access to a data memory or a data structure in which the data records are arranged one after the other. In order to be able to access a certain data record, all data records located between the starting and target positions must first be found. The access time depends primarily on the distance between the data records.
The term is also used in theoretical computer science, e.g. B. in the Turing machine .
In technical applications, the sequential type of access is specified by the technical implementation of the underlying device, for example with punch cards and magnetic tapes of all kinds (audio or video cassettes, audio tapes, storage tapes, streamer cassettes).