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The number of bits that a CPU can process at one time. Processors with many different word sizes have existed though powers of two (8, 16, 32, 64) have predominated for many years. A processor's word size is often equal to the width of its external data bus though sometimes the bus is made narrower than the CPU (often half as many bits) to economise on packaging and circuit board costs.
This article is provided by FOLDOC - Free Online Dictionary of Computing (foldoc.org)
word sizeThe size of the CPU's internal registers. For example, a 32-bit computer has a 32-bit word size. See word.
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