## DATA STORAGE:

BITS AND BYTES

- BEYOND KILOBYTES

## BITS AND BYTES

The most basic, indivisible unit of computational information is called a

bit. The word itself is a contraction ofbinary digit, referring to its two possible values denoted by the Arabic numerical digits,0and1. Zero conventionally represents logical, while one corresponds tofalse, (-),off, orno. In quantum computing atrue, (+),on, oryesquantum bit, orqubit, can exist in a superposition of both states (simultaneouslytrueandfalse.)A

byte(or octet) is the most basic addressable unit of digital information storage in a computer, consisting of a string of8 bits. Half a byte, or four bits is anibble, (or semioctet / quartet) and half a nibble or two bits is asemi-nibble. Memory circuits use thebinarynumeral system (base 2), rather than thedecimalsystem (base 10) usually used elsewhere. The established prefix kilo inkilobyterefers to 10^{3}or 1000 bytes. In binary, however, the closest value to this is 2^{10}or 1024 bytes, which is approximately 1000. For this reason, there are two definitions of a kilobyte and every larger unit. As the units become larger, so does the divergence between their two possible values. For example amegabytecan be either 10^{6 }= 1,000,000 bytes or 2^{20}= 1024^{2}= 1,048,576 bytes, and agigabyteis either 10^{9 }= 1,000,000,000 bytes or 2^{30}= 1024^{3}= 1,073,741,824 bytes.## BEYOND KILOBYTES

unitabbrev.bytes (decimal)bytes (binary)bit b ⅛ or 0.125 2 ^{-3}semi-nibble s ¼ or 0.25 2 ^{-2}nibble n ½ or 0.5 2 ^{-1}byte B 1 2 ^{0}kilobyte kB 1000 or 10 ^{3}2 ^{10}megabyte MB 1000 ^{2}or 10^{6}2 ^{20}gigabyte GB 1000 ^{3}or 10^{9}2 ^{30}terabyte TB 1000 ^{4}or 10^{12}2 ^{40}petabyte PB 1000 ^{5}or 10^{15}2 ^{50}exabyte EB 1000 ^{6}or 10^{18}2 ^{60}zettabyte ZB 1000 ^{7}or 10^{21}2 ^{70}yottabyte YB 1000 ^{8}or 10^{24}2 ^{80}brontobyte BB 1000 ^{9}or 10^{27}2 ^{90}geopbyte GeB 1000 ^{10}or 10^{30}2 ^{100}saganbyte SB 1000 ^{11}or 10^{33}2 ^{110}pijabyte PiB 1000 ^{12}or 10^{36}2 ^{120}alphabyte AB 1000 ^{13}or 10^{39}2 ^{130}kryatbyte KB 1000 ^{14}or 10^{42}2 ^{140}

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