Learn about Types of Bytes of a Computer. Just as the cell is the smallest unit of life, the byte can be thought of the smallest unit of information in a computer. Each and every single letter you read from the screen of your computer is represented by its own unique byte. Complex symbols and images are represented by a combination of several bytes. The types of bytes of a computer can be classified according to their size or according to the number of bits they have.
To understand the types of bytes, it is vital to get a proper picture of the data hierarchy. Users of computer store data differently from the machines. Data in the computer world refers to a set of characters without meaning. Information on the other hand is data that has meaning. The size of data units familiar to us users of computers ascend from character to field to record and finally to file. Machines on the other hand, store data in bits, bytes, words, blocks and reels of tape in the ascending order of size.
We are more interested in the way the machine stores data. A byte refers to a group of bits. Bits are a series of zeros and ones. These zeros and ones (bits) are aggregated to form a byte. Words are data bits transmitted in parallel. An aggregation of words forms a block. We shall delve more into the types of bytes.
Most modern computers use bytes that contain eight bits. These bytes are known as the single eight bit bytes. Because of their acceptance in most network protocols, most people have come to believe that a byte has eight bits. Although most computers use this kind of bytes, there are other more obsolete types of bytes. Very few computers use these kinds of bytes. They include: thirty six bit bytes, nine bit bytes, single six bit bytes, double six bit bytes or single twelve bit byte and single twelve bit byte for standard characters and two twelve bit bytes for other characters.However, modern computer systems have come to solely use the single eight bit byte because of its sufficiency in representation of characters and its economy in storage space.
Since the Central Processing Unit (Machine) processes data in binary form; the form of zeroes and ones, the storage capacity of most computers is denoted in bytes. A kilobyte is composed of one thousand and twenty four bytes. A megabyte is made up of one million forty eight thousand five hundred and seventy six bytes. A gigabyte is made up of approximately a thousand megabytes. A terabyte is made up of approximately a thousand gigabytes. A petabyte is made up of approximately a thousand terabytes. An exabyte is made up of approximately a thousand petabytes. A zettabyte is made up of a thousand exabytes. A yottabyte is made up of approximately a thousand zettabytes.
This is the complex world of computer data storage. Although there are different types of bytes of a computer, the eight bit byte remains the most popular. How many bits does a byte have again?