#1,081 – Bits, Bytes and Nibbles

A bit is a unit of information in a digital computer that can take on one of two values, typically written as 0 or 1.  Information stored in digital computers was originally represented as bits because each bit could be physically represented by some electrical mechanism that could take on one of two states (e.g. a transistor, which can be on or off).

A series of eight bits is considered a byte.  (Historically, the number of bits in a byte was dependent on the hardware, but the term byte most often refers to a sequence of eight bits).

1081-001

Because a byte consists of eight bits and a hexadecimal character represents four bits, you can represent a byte using two hexadecimal characters.

1081-002

A byte can take on values from 0 to 255, or 0x00 to 0xFF.

1081-003

Four bits (one hexadecimal character) is also know as a nibble, though this term is not as common as byte.

 

 

Advertisements

About Sean
Software developer in the Twin Cities area, passionate about software development and sailing.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: