*What’s a byte?*

*What’s a byte?*

We explain what a byte is, the origin of the term and what it is used for. In addition, some features and their scale of measurements.

A byte needs 8 bits to represent a letter in the binary code.

A byte is the basic unit of information used in computing and telecommunications, **equivalent to an ordered and regular set of bits** (binary code), generally stipulated in 8.

That is: 8 bits are equivalent to one byte, but this amount can be altered, so a byte is actually equivalent to *n* ordered bits.

This unit does not have a conventional symbol of representation, but in some countries the letter B is used.

The origin of this term is assumed in the English acronym* Binary Tuple*, which is equivalent to an ordered sequence of binary elements.

However, the phonetic similarity of byte to *bite* also meant its use since it was the minimum amount of data that could be fed to one system at a time (the minimum amount that could “bite”).

As for the amount of information that a byte represents, consider that it takes approximately 8 bits to represent a letter in the binary code of most commercial computing systems today, ie: **a byte equals a letter**, so an entire paragraph may exceed 100 B, and a very short text will reach the unit immediately above, the kilobyte (1024 B = 1 kB).

From then on a whole scale of measurement of digital information quantity is started, as follows (according to ISO/IEC 80000-13):

- 1024 B = 1 kB (one kilobyte, equivalent to a very short text)
- 1024 kB = 1 mB (one megabyte, equivalent to a complete novel)
- 1024 mB = 1 gB (one gigabyte, equivalent to an entire library shelf full of books)
- 1024 gB = 1 tB (one terabyte, equivalent to a small complete library)
- 1024 tB = 1 pB (one petabyte, equivalent to the amount of data handled by Google per hour in the world)
- 1024 pB = 1 eB (one exabyte, equivalent to the weight of all Internet information by the end of 2001).

Bytes and their superior measurements are also often used to **measure the storage capacity of digital memory devices**, or the rates of data transfer over computer networks of various types.

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