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Definition: NIST binary


In 1995, the National Institute of Standards & Technology (NIST) created a new standard for defining binary numbers in order to eliminate ambiguity. For example, "megabyte" can mean 1,000,000 (106) bytes or 1,048,576 (220) bytes, the latter the actual NIST binary number. NIST binary retains the first two letters of the Greek word for the number; for example "ki" for "kilo" and "me" for "mega," plus "bi" for binary (see below).

Has It Caught On?
Not universally. After decades, NIST measurements are used only occasionally. See binary values.

 BITS in:
 Decimal         NIST Binary

 kilobit (Kb)    kibibit (Kib)

 megabit (Mb)    mebibit (Mib)

 gigabit (Gb)    gibibit (Gib)

 terabit (Tb)    tebibit (Tib)

 petabit (Tb)    pebibit (Pib)

 exabit  (Eb)    exbibit (Eib)

 zettabit (Zb)   zebibit (Zib)

 yottabit (Yb)   yobibit (Yib)


 BYTES in:
 Decimal         NIST Binary

 kilobyte (KB)   kibibyte (KiB)

 megabyte (MB)   mebibyte (MiB)

 gigabyte (GB)   gibibyte (GiB)

 terabyte (TB)   tebibyte (TiB)

 petabyte (TB)   pebibyte (PiB)

 exabyte  (EB)   exbibyte (EiB)

 zettabyte (ZB)  zebibyte (ZiB)

 yottabyte (YB)  yobibyte (YiB)