RE: Meg vs. MB vs. M

Subject: RE: Meg vs. MB vs. M
From: Kim Roper <kim -dot- roper -at- pixelink -dot- com>
To: "'TECHWR-L' (E-mail)" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Wed, 28 Jan 2004 11:01:45 -0500

Sarah asked about bits and bytes and megs and Megs and words.

In computer terms, one "Meg" is 1,048,576 (1,024 x 1,024). It is not

Gross memory is usually defined in terms of bytes, B. One megabyte of
memory is 1024 kilobytes, which is 1,024 x 1,024 bytes, which is 1,024 x
1,024 x 8 bits. "MB" is a perfectly understandable abbreviation.

Memory -chips- are usually defined in terms of bits, b. "M" or "Mb" are
perfectly understandable abbreviations. Eight bits to the byte, 16 or 32
bits to the word (usually).

(Memory -modules- are what's used in your computer's RAM. Treat them as
gross memory. Modules are made of groups of chips.)

"Words" are usually used to denote the size of a chunk of information being
accessed or transmitted by the device in a single operation, or they're what
the device otherwise considers a discrete chunk of information.

When you start talking about nn-bit words, I think it would be safest to
avoid mixing your units. That is, in the absence of any other information,
I'd go with a "so-many-*bit*" memory x nn-bit words. Don't make your
audience do the byte-to-bit conversion unless it's already standard

Cheers ... Kim


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