# binary coded decimal

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## binary coded decimal

(data)(BCD, packed decimal) A number representation where a
number is expressed as a sequence of decimal digits and then
each decimal digit is encoded as a four-bit binary number (a
nibble). E.g. decimal 92 would be encoded as the eight-bit
sequence 1001 0010.

In some cases, the right-most nibble contains the sign (positive or negative).

It is easier to convert decimal numbers to and from BCD than binary and, though BCD is often converted to binary for arithmetic processing, it is possible to build hardware that operates directly on BCD.

In some cases, the right-most nibble contains the sign (positive or negative).

It is easier to convert decimal numbers to and from BCD than binary and, though BCD is often converted to binary for arithmetic processing, it is possible to build hardware that operates directly on BCD.

This article is provided by FOLDOC - Free Online Dictionary of Computing (

**foldoc.org**)## BCD

(**B**inary

**C**oded

**D**ecimal) The storage of numbers in which each decimal digit is converted into binary and stored in a single character or byte. For example, a 12-digit number would take 12 bytes. See binary numbers.

BCD and Binary |
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The BCD method codes each decimal digit in binary and stores it in its own byte. The binary method converts the entire decimal number into a binary number. In the binary example above, the 1 in the left byte is the ninth bit starting from the rightmost bit in the right byte (256-128-64-32-16-8-4-2-1-0). |

How Numbers Are Stored |
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BCD is one of four primary ways numbers are stored in the computer. |

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