n.A b(inary dig)it.The smallest unit of information in a binary system.


A string of bits can be used to represent a number using only zeros and ones (base two). A fixed number of bits treated as a unit can be used to represent a digit, character, or punctuation mark. Standard ASCII uses seven bits per byte, allowing for a total of 128 characters; extended ASCII uses eight bits and can represent 256 characters. The relationship with the binary number and the character it represents is arbitrary. In ASCII, the character A is represented by the bits 1000001; in EBCDIC, A is represented by 11000001.