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Encyclopedia > Kilobyte
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Quantities of bytes
SI prefixes Historical use Binary prefixes
Symbol
(name)
Value  Symbol  Value Symbol
(name)
Value
kB (kilobyte) 10001 = 103 KB 10241 = 210 KiB (kibibyte) 210
MB (megabyte) 10002 = 106 MB 10242 = 220 MiB (mebibyte) 220
GB (gigabyte) 10003 = 109 GB 10243 = 230 GiB (gibibyte) 230
TB (terabyte) 10004 = 1012 TB 10244 = 240 TiB (tebibyte) 240
PB (petabyte) 10005 = 1015 PB 10245 = 250 PiB (pebibyte) 250
EB (exabyte) 10006 = 1018 EB 10246 = 260 EiB (exbibyte) 260
ZB (zettabyte) 10007 = 1021 ZB 10247 = 270 ZiB (zebibyte) 270
YB (yottabyte) 10008 = 1024 YB 10248 = 280 YiB (yobibyte) 280
Legacy Units
Unit Value
KB 210 Bytes = 1024 Bytes
MB 220 Bytes = 1024 KB
GB 230 Bytes = 1024 MB
TB 240 Bytes = 1024 GB

It can be abbreviated a number of ways: K, KB, Kbyte and kB.

Main article: Binary prefix

The exact number of bytes in a kilobyte has traditionally been ambiguous. Locations in electronic memory circuits are identified by binary numbers, which means that the number of addressable locations naturally becomes a power of 2, and memory sizes are therefore not integer multiples (or fractions) of 1000. However, as 210 = 1024 ≈ 1000, the established K (for kilo) was early on employed as a convenient "approximate" prefix for memory capacities in multiples of 1024. On the other hand, for products where (some) capacity factors were not equally bound to powers of two, such as magnetic disks (sector and track numbers) and networking equipment (bit rates), strict decimal-based units were used. // In computing, binary prefixes can be used to quantify large numbers where powers of two are more useful than powers of ten (such as computer memory sizes). ... The binary or base-two numeral system is a system for representing numbers in which a radix of two is used; that is, each digit in a binary numeral may have either of two different values. ... In mathematics, a power of two is any of the nonnegative integer powers of the number two; in other words, two times itself a certain number of times. ... Magnetic storage is a term from engineering referring to the storage of data on a magnetised medium. ... For the scientific and engineering discipline studying computer networks, see Computer networking. ...

Some have suggested that the capitalized prefix K should be used to distinguish this quantity from the SI prefix k, and although this has never been formally mandated, it is commonly practised (even though K is already used as the SI symbol for kelvins). However, it is not extensible to the higher-order prefixes, as SI already uses the prefixes m and M to mean "thousandth" and "million" respectively. There are also proposals to capitalize all greater-than-unity prefixes (D, H, K, M, G, ...), which would conflict with this. See SI prefix. Majuscules or capital letters (in the Roman alphabet: A, B, C, ...) are one type of case in a writing system. ... For other uses, see Kelvin (disambiguation). ... Look up si, Si, SI in Wiktionary, the free dictionary. ... An SI prefix (also known as a metric prefix) is a name or associated symbol that precedes a unit of measure (or its symbol) to form a decimal multiple or submultiple. ...

These prefixes can therefore be used with either decimal (powers of 1000) or binary (powers of 1024) values, depending on context:

• 1024 bytes (210): This definition is always used to express memory chip capacity, and other quantities which are based on powers of two. Most software also uses it to express storage capacity. This definition has been expressly forbidden by the SI standard ([1] section 3.1, marginal note), and, since 1998, most standards organizations instead recommend the term kibibyte (KiB). Although the word "kibibyte" is seldom seen in practice, it is starting to be adopted by some software, such as BitTorrent or the Linux kernel. [2] Yet, according to Google test, its usage is less than 0.3%.
• 1000 bytes (103): This definition is consistent with the SI prefix, and is recommended for all uses by international standards organizations such as IEC, IEEE, and ISO, with the abbreviation "kB". The overwhelming popularity of the 1024 definition for memory and file sizes means that anyone using "kilobyte" to mean 1000 in these situations is likely to cause confusion. However, it is common to use 1000 when deriving kilobyte measures from quantities which are not based on powers of two, such as bitrates.

Kilobyte (abbreviated to kB with an upper case b) is not to be confused with the term kilobit (abbreviated to kb with a lower case b). Standards Organizations are bodies, organizations and institutions that produce, and in some cases measure, standards. ... A kibibyte (a contraction of kilo binary byte) is a unit of information or computer storage, commonly abbreviated KiB (never kiB). 1 kibibyte = 210 bytes = 1,024 bytes The kibibyte is closely related to the kilobyte, which can be used either as a synonym for kibibyte or to refer to... This article is about the protocol. ... The Linux kernel is a Unix-like operating system kernel. ... Google Inc. ... The International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC) is an international standards organization dealing with electrical, electronic and related technologies. ... The Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers or IEEE (pronounced as eye-triple-e) is an international non-profit, professional organization for the advancement of technology related to electricity. ... â€œISOâ€ redirects here. ... In telecommunications and computing, bitrate (sometimes written bit rate, data rate or as a variable Rbit) is the number of bits that are conveyed or processed per unit of time. ... A kilobit is a unit of information storage, abbreviated kbit or sometimes kb. ...

Results from FactBites:

 Kilobyte - definition of Kilobyte in Encyclopedia (680 words) The kilobyte comes in two flavours, depending on the context in which it is used, meaning either 1,000 or 1,024 bytes. It is used describing storage capacity and memory size of computers (as it is a power of 2, making it easy for computers, which work in binary, to manipulate). Kilobytes is written as "KB", sometimes abbreviated as "K", to differentiate this from the 'borrowed' SI prefix; M (Mega) was interpreted as K×K = 2
 Kilobyte - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia (399 words) A kilobyte (derived from the SI prefix kilo-, meaning 1000) is a unit of information or computer storage equal to either 1024 or 1000 bytes. The overwhelming popularity of the 1024 definition means that anyone using "kilobyte" to mean 1000 in these situations is likely to cause confusion. However, it is common to use 1000 when deriving kilobyte measures from quantities which are not based on powers of two, such as clock speeds or bitrates.
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