We explain what a byte is, the origin of the term and what it is for. Also, some characteristics and its measurement scale.

## What is a byte?

The basic unit of information used in computing and telecommunications is known as a byte. **equivalent to a regular ordered set of bits** (binary code), generally stipulated in 8. That is to say: 8 bits are equivalent to a byte, but this amount can be altered, so a byte is actually equivalent to *n* ordered bits. This unit does not have a conventional symbol for representation, but in some countries the letter B is used.

The origin of this term is assumed to be in the English acronym of *Binary** **Tuple* o Binary tuple, which is equivalent to an ordered sequence of binary elements.

However, the phonetic similarity of byte with *bite* (“bite” or “bite” in English) also meant its use since it was the minimum amount of data that could be fed to a system at a time (the minimum amount that could “bite”).

Regarding the amount of information that a byte represents, consider that it takes approximately 8 bits to represent one letter in the binary code of most commercial computer systems today, that is: **one byte is equivalent to one letter** so an entire paragraph may exceed 100 B, and a very short text will reach the next higher unit, the kilobyte (1024 B = 1 kB).

From then on, a whole scale of measuring the amount of digital information begins, as follows (in accordance with the ISO/IEC 80000-13 standard):

- 1024 B = 1 kB (one kilobyte, equivalent to a very short text)
- 1024 kB = 1 mB (one megabyte, equivalent to a complete novel)
- 1024 mB = 1 gB (one gigabyte, equivalent to an entire library shelf full of books)
- 1024 gB = 1 tB (one terabyte, equivalent to an entire small library)
- 1024 tB = 1 pB (one petabyte, equivalent to the amount of data handled by Google per hour in the world)
- 1024 pB = 1 eB (one exabyte, equivalent to the weight of all the information on the Internet at the end of 2001).

Bytes and their higher measurements are also often used to **measure the storage capacity of digital memory devices** or data transfer rates through computer networks of various types.

See also: Database