Binary Digit

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binary digit

[′bīn·ə·rē ′dij·ət]
(computer science)
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of Scientific & Technical Terms, 6E, Copyright © 2003 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.
The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Binary Digit

(in information theory), a unit used to measure entropy and the quantity of information. An entropy of 1 binary digit (1 bit) has a source with two equiprobable messages. The term is derived from the fact that the number of binary digits determines (to an accuracy of 1) the average number of characters required to record messages from a given source in the binary code. Decimal digits (decit) are also used. The conversion from one digit to another corresponds to the change in the base of logarithms when the entropy and the quantity of information are being determined (10 instead of 2). The conversion formula is 1 decit = 1/log 2 bits ≈ 3.32 bits.

bit

(1) (Built-In Test) See BIST.

(2) (BInary digiT) The smallest element of computer storage. The bit is a single digit in a binary number containing only 0s and 1s. Physically the bit is a transistor and capacitor in a RAM cell, a magnetic domain on disk or tape, a cell in a solid state drive (SSD), a spot on optical media or a voltage pulsing through a circuit.

Transmitting Bits
Bits are used as a measurement for network transmission. For example, one hundred megabits per second (100 Mbps) means that 100 million pulses are transmitted per second. See space/time.

Storing Bytes
Eight bits make up a "byte," which is manipulated as one entity. Each byte can store one alphanumeric character, one decimal digit or a decimal number from 0 to 256 (see binary number and binary values). Measurements of files, databases, storage drives and memory (RAM) are given in bytes rather than bits. See space/time and word.

Storage - Making it Smaller Making the spot or cell smaller increases the storage capacity. Today's storage drives hold staggering amounts of data compared to 10 years ago. For a fascinating storage technology that never became popular, see holographic storage.

Storage - Making it Smaller Making the spot or cell smaller increases the storage capacity. Today's storage drives hold staggering amounts of data compared to 10 years ago. For a fascinating storage technology that never became popular, see holographic storage.

Transmission - Making it Faster The bit is transmitted as a pulse of high or low voltage. Speed is increased by making the transistors open and close faster, illustrated here as a mechanical switch. Transmitting pulses within the computer is much simpler than over an external network where they are influenced by distance and interference. However, the telephone companies pioneered optical trunks, which overcame these limitations.
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References in periodicals archive ?
As a result, the studies show estimates for the amount of uniquely created information stored on paper, film, magnetic media, and optical devices, and the amount of uniquely created bits flowing through broadcasting, telephony, and the Internet, measured in the number of binary digits (0s and 1s) that represent this information.
The second person was also attached to an EEG amplifier and their PC would pick up the stream of binary digits and flash an LED lamp at two different frequencies, one for zero and the other one for one.
30 frames per second), we actually have to send 221,184,000 binary digits per second.
(A field is a byte or group of bytes, that is binary digits, assigned to convey specific information inside a given format.)
A microphone picks up the individual's speech that is in analog or wave form, and the speech waves are broken down into patterns of binary digits by a digital signal processor to represent the vocal sounds of human speech.
One full adder is accountable for the addition of two binary digits at any phase of the ripple carry.
Data on a computer is stored as 0s and 1s, in what are known as binary digits or bits.
We translate all kinds of information into "optimally compressed bits." This implies two steps: the translation of information 1) into binary digits of hardware capacity, and then 2) into optimally compressed bits.
Subjects include spoken numbers, playing cards, dates, abstract images, binary digits, random words, names and faces.
Instead of being transmitted "raw", the signal is turned into a series of ones and zeros - binary digits or bits for short, before being broadcast.
It digitizes the subscriber's account information and voice and turns them into a high-speed stream of binary digits. A telephone using TDMA technology transmits its digitized information only during an assigned time slot a mere several thousandths of a second long.
After selection of significant DCT, Huffman encoding is performed to convert coefficients into binary digits.

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