Bit - Multiple Bits

Multiple Bits

Multiples of bits
SI decimal prefixes Binary
usage
IEC binary prefixes
Name
(Symbol)
Value Name
(Symbol)
Value
kilobit (kbit) 103 210 kibibit (Kibit) 210
megabit (Mbit) 106 220 mebibit (Mibit) 220
gigabit (Gbit) 109 230 gibibit (Gibit) 230
terabit (Tbit) 1012 240 tebibit (Tibit) 240
petabit (Pbit) 1015 250 pebibit (Pibit) 250
exabit (Ebit) 1018 260 exbibit (Eibit) 260
zettabit (Zbit) 1021 270 zebibit (Zibit) 270
yottabit (Ybit) 1024 280 yobibit (Yibit) 280
See also: Nibble · Byte · Multiples of bytes
Orders of magnitude of data

There are several units of information which are defined as multiples of bits, like octet (8 bits, widely named byte, even if historically a byte has had different sizes depending on hardware) or kilobit (either 1000 or 210 = 1024 bits).

Computers usually manipulate bits in groups of a fixed size, conventionally named "words". The number of bits in a word varies with the computer model; typically between 8 to 80 bits; or even more in some specialized machines. Today personal or server computers have a word size of 64 or 32 bits.

The International Electrotechnical Commission's standard IEC 60027 specifies that the symbol for binary digit should be "bit", and this should be used in all multiples, such as "kbit" (for kilobit). However, the letter "b" (in lower case) is widely used too. The letter "B" (upper case) is both the standard and customary symbol for byte.

In telecommunications (including computer networks), data transfer rates are usually measured in bits per second (bit/s) or its multiples, such as kbit/s. (This unit is not to be confused with baud.)

A millibit is a (rare) unit of information equal to one thousandth of a bit.

Read more about this topic:  Bit

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