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byte (B)

A byte is a series of binary elements that form a logical digital unit. Unless otherwise specified, a byte consists of 8 bits and is also called an octet in data communication. If a byte consists of seven bits, it is called a seven-bit byte or septet, and a 6-bit byte or six-bit byte is called a sextet.

A byte is a unit of data used by most computers to represent a character, letter, or number. Normally, four bytes are combined to form a data word. Such a unit of four bytes can be read and processed as an instruction by 32-bit processors. Other processors are geared for smaller data words of two or one byte.

Generally used and IEC defined byte specifications

Generally used and IEC defined byte specifications

In terms of memory technology, a byte is the smallest addressable unit of memory and allows 256 (`2^8`) different addresses or characters (e.g. digits, letters, special characters) to be addressed or represented. The byte is usually provided with a prefix, so with kilo as kilobyte( KB), megabyte ( MB), gigabyte ( GB), terabyte ( TB), petabyte ( PB), exabyte ( EB), zettabyte (ZB) or also yottabyte (YB). For kilobytes (KB), note that the "K" appears as an uppercase letter because it is `2^10` or 1,024 and not 1,000 as in a lowercase "k".

A megabyte (MB) consists of 1,024 kilobytes (KB), a gigabyte consists of 1,024 megabytes (MB), a terabyte consists of 1,024 gigabytes (GB), a petabyte consists of 1,024 terabytes (TB), an exabyte consists of 1,024 petabytes (PB), and a zettabyte consists of 1,024 exabytes (EB).

For certain addressing, a byte is divided into two times four bits. This unit is called half byte, nibble or quad bit.

Englisch: byte - B
Updated at: 22.01.2022
#Words: 264
Links: binary, digital, unit (U), octet, data communication (DC)
Translations: DE

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