# #1,080 – Binary Numerals Written as Hexadecimal

Binary data, for example data stored in in some location in memory, is typically written as a hexadecimal number.  This can be done by grouping the binary digits into groups of four.  Each group of four digits can then be represented by a single hexadecimal character.

Four binary digits can range from 0000 to 1111, representing values from 0 to 15, corresponding to the 16 available characters in the hexadecimal number system. The example below shows how we can represent a long binary number (16 bits in this case) as a series of hex characters. The practice of grouping binary data into groups of four digits maps well to data stored in digital computers, since the typical size of a data word in a binary computer is some factor of four–e.g. 16 bits, 32 bits, or 64 bits.  These groups of bits can then be represented by 4, 8, or 16 hexadecimal characters, respectively. About Sean
Software developer in the Twin Cities area, passionate about software development and sailing.