Also found in: Wikipedia.


(data, architecture)
Suffix used in the terms big-endian and little-endian that describe the ordering of bytes in a multi-byte number.

The term comes from Swift's "Gulliver's Travels" via the famous paper "On Holy Wars and a Plea for Peace" by Danny Cohen, USC/ISI IEN 137, 1980-04-01.

The Lilliputians, being very small, had correspondingly small political problems. The Big-Endian and Little-Endian parties debated over whether soft-boiled eggs should be opened at the big end or the little end.

See also middle-endian, holy wars, NUXI problem, swab.
This article is provided by FOLDOC - Free Online Dictionary of Computing (foldoc.org)

byte order

The order of numbers in a computer word. Byte order refers to the order of digits in computer words at least 16 bits long. See word.

Big Endian and Little Endian
Big endian is how we normally deal with numbers: the most significant byte or digits are placed leftmost in the structure (the big end). Known as the "network byte order," the TCP/IP Internet protocol also uses big endian regardless of the hardware at either end.

Some CPUs, most notably x86 CPUs, deal with words in little endian order, which places the least significant digits on the left (the little end). Since numbers are calculated by the CPU starting with the least significant digits, little endian numbers are already set up in the required processing order.

A bi-endian machine, such as ARM and PowerPC, supports both big endian and little endian words. In the following example, the decimal number 450 is shown in both byte orders in hexadecimal notation, which is 01C2. See hex.

HEX NUMBER 01C2Big Endian (BE)   Little Endian (LE)

 01C2              C201

 CPU EXAMPLESBig Endian        Little Endian
 Motorola 68K      x86 (Intel, AMD, etc.)
 IBM mainframes    PDP-11, VAX


Choosing Byte Order for TIFF Images
TIFF images store pixel values as words, and their byte order was not the same when Windows and Mac used different CPUs. This Photoshop dialog box asks which platform the TIFF file is saved on. GIFs and JPEGs are not word oriented, and byte order does not matter.
Copyright © 1981-2019 by The Computer Language Company Inc. All Rights reserved. THIS DEFINITION IS FOR PERSONAL USE ONLY. All other reproduction is strictly prohibited without permission from the publisher.
References in periodicals archive ?
Newer versions of .au files have a header that consists of six unsigned 32-bit words, an optional information chunk and the data in big endian format [15][16].
Xiaoli Liu (iD), (1) Endian Ma, (1) Zhibin Cao, (2) and Shuanglong Jin (iD) (3)
Endian Link Size Map String ID Type ID Constant & Offset Section 1 78563412 00000000 00000000 64010000 05000000 2 2C010000 2F010000 01000000 02000000 03000000 3 01000000 00000000 04000000 70100000 00000E00 4 6E616741 70703B00 01560026 7E7E4438 7B226D69 No.
For the IBM Power Little Endian architecture, this release enables support for the High Availability and Resilient Storage Add-Ons as well as the Open Container Initiative (OCI) runtime and image format.
Target options [right arrow] Target Architecture [right arrow] AArch64 (little endian)
“Oscilloscope and Power Spectral applications include options for displaying all signaling formats - a-law, [micro]-law, PCM 16 bit, PCM 13 bit, PCM 14 bit, PCM 8 bit and different byte order for INTEL (Little Endian) and MOTOROLA (Big Endian) 16 bit signals sampled at 16 KHz can also be displayed.”
It must be taken into account that, as the information is obtained from appliances of very different properties, chances are that it is depicted in varying representation formats (little endian, big endian, etc.) that will collide with the expected one, so elements within the Smart Grid must come to an agreement on how data must be transferred.
Note that both JAUS and EtherCAT favor little endian integer representation.
Little Bit Timmy was a big supporter of little endian because that would give him the best position in the word.
Listing the ELF header of a 'test' file $ readelf -h test ELF Header: Magic: 7f45 4c 46 01 01 01 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 Class: ELF32 Data: 2's complement, little endian Version: 1 (current) OS/ABI: UNIX --System V ABI Version: 0 Type: EXEC (Executable file) Machine: Intel 80386 Version: 0x1 Entry point address: 0x80482c0 Start ofprogram headers: 52 (bytes into file) Start of section headers: 2060 (bytes into file) Flags: 0x0 Size of this header: 52 (bytes) Size of program headers: 32 (bytes) Number of program headers: 7 Size of section headers: 40 (bytes) Number of section headers: 28 Section header string table index: 25 Analyzing the above output we note that:
In the Big Endian corner, the froth on top of a glass of beer is very important, almost as important as the quality of the liquid itself.
Innovative Routines International (IRI) Inc., The CoSort Company, Melbourne, Fla, has solved a problem inherent with migrating data across different endian architectures (e.g.