bit mask

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bit mask

A pattern of binary values which is combined with some value using bitwise AND with the result that bits in the value in positions where the mask is zero are also set to zero. For example, if, in C, we want to test if bits 0 or 2 of x are set, we can write

int mask = 5; /* binary 101 */

if (x & mask) ...

A bit mask might also be used to set certain bits using bitwise OR, or to invert them using bitwise exclusive OR.
This article is provided by FOLDOC - Free Online Dictionary of Computing (