What’s in a Byte?

What’s in a Byte?

Many believe that a byte is by definition, an eight-bit data unit. Technically, this definition isn’t correct. A byte is a data unit with an unspecified number of bits. Indeed, almost every hardware architecture nowadays uses eight-bit bytes. However, 20 and 30 years ago, machines that had 6-bit bytes, 11-bit bytes, and other weird numbers, weren’t exceptional. For this reason, communication protocols and other standards (e.g., CORBA) use the term octet ? rather than byte ? to refer to a data unit that occupies exactly eight bits. For example, an IP address consists of four octets.

See also  How HealthStream Learning Center Supports Healthcare Education and Compliance

About Our Editorial Process

At DevX, we’re dedicated to tech entrepreneurship. Our team closely follows industry shifts, new products, AI breakthroughs, technology trends, and funding announcements. Articles undergo thorough editing to ensure accuracy and clarity, reflecting DevX’s style and supporting entrepreneurs in the tech sphere.

See our full editorial policy.

About Our Journalist