nibble

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nibble

[′nib·əl]
(computer science)
A unit of computger storage or information equal to one-half a byte.
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of Scientific & Technical Terms, 6E, Copyright © 2003 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.

nibble

(data)
/nib'l/ (US "nybble", by analogy with "bite" -> "byte") Half a byte. Since a byte is nearly always eight bits, a nibble is nearly always four bits (and can therefore be represented by one hex digit).

Other size nibbles have existed, for example the BBC Microcomputer disk file system used eleven bit sector numbers which were described as one byte (eight bits) and a nibble (three bits).

Compare crumb, tayste, dynner; see also bit, nickle, deckle.

The spelling "nybble" is uncommon in Commonwealth Hackish as British orthography suggests the pronunciation /ni:'bl/.
This article is provided by FOLDOC - Free Online Dictionary of Computing (foldoc.org)

nibble

Four bits (half a byte). The terms nibble and byte were coined in the 1960s by IBM when it switched from six-bit binary-coded decimal (BCD) characters to the eight-bit byte structure in the System/360 series. Nibble was a play on chewing words (nibble, byte, bit) because bit was already coined for "binary digit." The "i" in bite was replaced with "y" to differentiate it from the English word and nibble is sometimes spelled "nybble." See bit, byte and System/360.
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References in periodicals archive ?
2 octets 1 octet 1 octet X 40 20 10 8 4 2 1 X 40 20 10 8 4 2 1 mm ss Period 6 octets 1 octet 1 octet 1 octet 1 octet 4 bits 4bits 4 bits 4 bits 4 bits 4 bits 4 bits 4 bits Y Y M M D D h h Timestamp 6 octets 1 octet 1 octet 4 bits 4 bits 4 bits 4 bits m m s s Timestamp
They are configured 64Mwords x 4bits x 8 banks or 32Mwords x 8bits x 8 banks.