NIST binary

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NIST binary

In 1995, the National Institute of Standards & Technology defined a new standard of measurement that accurately reflects the difference between decimal and binary numbers. When referring to true binary numbers, the traditional kilo, mega, giga, etc. designations were changed to kibi, mebi, gibi, etc. (see table below). The names are the first two letters of the word plus "bi" for binary. For example, kibi means "kilo binary" and mebi means "mega binary" and so on.

For example, one million bytes would be expressed as one "megabyte" (MB) for the decimal number 1,000,000 (106), but one "mebibyte" (MiB) for the binary number 1,048,576 (220).

Will It Catch On?
After more than a decade, NIST measurements have not become mainstream, but are used when absolute precision is required. See binary values.

BITS in:Decimal         NIST Binary

 kilobit (Kb)    kibibit (Kib)

 megabit (Mb)    mebibit (Mib)

 gigabit (Gb)    gibibit (Gib)

 terabit (Tb)    tebibit (Tib)

 petabit (Tb)    pebibit (Pib)

 exabit  (Eb)    exbibit (Eib)

 zettabit (Zb)   zebibit (Zib)

 yottabit (Yb)   yobibit (Yib)


 BYTES in:Decimal         NIST Binary

 kilobyte (KB)   kibibyte (KiB)

 megabyte (MB)   mebibyte (MiB)

 gigabyte (GB)   gibibyte (GiB)

 terabyte (TB)   tebibyte (TiB)

 petabyte (TB)   pebibyte (PiB)

 exabyte  (EB)   exbibyte (EiB)

 zettabyte (ZB)  zebibyte (ZiB)

 yottabyte (YB)  yobibyte (YiB)
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