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Word




<storage> A fundamental unit of storage in a computer.

The size of a word in a particular computer architecture is one of its chief distinguishing characteristics.

The size of a word is usually the same as the width of the computer's data bus so it is possible to read or write a word in a single operation.

An instruction is usually one or more words long and a word can be used to hold a whole number of characters.

These days, this nearly always means a whole number of bytes (eight bits), most often 32 or 64 bits.

In the past when six bit character sets were used, a word might be a multiple of six bits, e.g. 24 bits (four characters) in the ICL 1900 series.



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