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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. NIST binary expresses the true binary value rather than the common references, which are rounded numbers. For example, "megabyte" is widely used to mean one million bytes, or 1,000,000 (106) bytes. However, whenever specifications of digital products are given, the true binary value of megabyte is 1,048,576 (220) bytes. The NIST binary number for megabyte is "mebibyte," which reflects the actual number (see binary values).

Has It Caught On?
It depends on how technical the articles. After decades, NIST binary may be used from a fraction to half as many times as the traditional kilo, mega and giga references. See binary values.

 NIST BINARY
 The first two letters are the same + "bi."


 BITS in:        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:       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)