Chapter Five: Digital Audio
2. Binary numbers, bits and bytes | page 3
Other binary terms
Below are a few more binary terms you are likely to run into in working with binary numbers.
MSB — the left-most bit of a binary number is called the most significant bit (MSB)
LSB — the right-most bit of a binary number is called the least significant bit (LSB)
word — this is a very inexact term — you will find many different definitions, but the most common definition of word is a 16-bit (two byte) binary value
nibble — a nibble is either the right or left half of a byte broken into two groups of 4 bits (1011 1010). The right half is called the lsn or least significant nibble and the left half is called the msn or most significant nibble
hexadecimal — a base-16 system of values. Each "place" has 16 values, ranging from 0-15 times a certain power of 16 (from right to left, 16^{0}, 16^{1}, etc.). To accomplish this with one position, letters are used for values over 9, so A=10, B=11, C=12, D=13, E=14, F=15). In this way, the 256-value range of a byte can be expressed in two-place numbers (000000000=$00, 11111111=$FF). Hex numbers are usually identified by dollar sign ($), a '0x' or followed by an 'H.'
Example of hexadecimal number:
powers of 16 | 16^{1} | 16^{0} | |
equivalent decimal values | 16's | 1's | |
sample hex number (remember A=10, D=13) | $A | D | |
how to solve | 10 x 16 + | 13 x 1 = | 173 |
For more information, visit http://www.howstuffworks.com/bytes.htm.