Prefixes for binary multiples (SI binary) [1998]

Prefixes for binary multiples

The International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC) will adopt new prefixes to accurately express the values of quantities used in information technology. Gone are kilo, mega, and giga bytes.
In, with input from the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), are kibi (Ki), mebi (Mi), gibi (Gi), tebi (Ti), pebi (Pi), and exbi (Ei) to represent exponentially increasing binary multiples. A kibibyte, therefore, equals 2 to the 10th power, or 1024 bytes.
Likewise, a mebibyte equals 2 to the 20th power, or 1,048,576 bytes. The new prefixes will increase precision in expressing electronic information. The discrepancy stems from the need to write electronic information in binary code, using only two digits, ones and zeros, while metric is a decimal system based on 10 digits. To describe large numbers of bytes, programmers used the closest approximate metric prefixes available.

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