word size


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word size

(processor)
The number of bits that a CPU can process at one time. Processors with many different word sizes have existed though powers of two (8, 16, 32, 64) have predominated for many years. A processor's word size is often equal to the width of its external data bus though sometimes the bus is made narrower than the CPU (often half as many bits) to economise on packaging and circuit board costs.

word size

The size of the CPU's internal registers. For example, a 32-bit computer has a 32-bit word size. See word.
References in periodicals archive ?
Commercially available integrated-circuit components limited the word size to 257 bits.
The number of bits, called CPU word size, made the chips slow by today's standards.
Portability - the team aimed for a single code-base that was portable and correct on all target machines of any word size and endian-ness, with no macros, 'ifdefs', or pre-processing of any kind.