Bits and Bytes – What’s the Difference?
Bits and bytes become extremely important to today’s computer and cellphone users. This fact may not be obvious to the casual consumer of the digital marketplace, but they are probably making decisions based on recommendations of others.
Bits and Bytes are Important Why?
The two items, bits and bytes, are the basis for the storage available (bytes) and data transfer speed (bits) of the digital devices. They are the determinants of the way and speed of data transfer. It is important to know which is being discussed while discussing or buying the digital electronic device. A byte is made up of bits. And the number of bits in a byte is dependent on the number system being used (base 10, base 8, etc.). This representation of data is machine language and allows, essentially, for data to be represented by electronic switches that exist in either off or on states (0, 1, respectively). For a base 10 device, each byte contains 8 bits, and one byte represents one letter, number, special character, or graphic image element through special character coding within each byte. A couple of the bits are reserved for maintaining transmission accuracy. For each group of 6 bits, 26 or 64 distinct combinations of zeros and ones are possible. The typical digital device is probably either a 32-bit or 64-bit application, or stated differently, a four-byte or an eight byte, respectively, machine. The memory of the computer or other digital device is built around the requirements to accommodate the special coding of data input and output through the device internal processor. The arrangement of the data bytes affects the capacity and processing speed of the device. Capacity is obvious! However, speed is affected by the method of transmitting the incoming data to the processor – how much information is transmitted each time a byte changes its binary (0, 1) state.