Byte

A common, basic unit of computer storage or memory, commonly comprising eight bits of data. (Thus, a byte is also known as an octet.) One bit is one particular binary digit, a 1 or a 0, one byte being some eight-digit combination of them, such as "10010011." Eight of these digits is commonly the minimum amount necessary to describe a specific character, such as the letter "A," the number "5," or any other character. One byte is typically the smallest unit of main memory. 1,024 bytes (usually rounded to one thousand) is known as 1 kilobyte, while 1,048,576 bytes (usually rounded to one million) is known as 1 megabyte.

Although in general computing a byte is equal to eight bits (and the word "byte" itself is a contraction of the phrase "by eight"), other types of electronic devices have different-sized bytes. A pocket calculator, for example, uses bytes which comprise four bits, while some mainframe computers use nine-Bit bytes.

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