Computer Terminology

How many bits required to represent a character?



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It takes 8 bits to form 1 byte which equals 1 character (255 variants are possible).

True, but some languages (eg Japanese) which use Kanji characters require more than one byte.


It depends on the encoding your using. With the ASCII encoding (which is, more or less, "standard" in most English-speaking countries, such as the United States), each character requires 1 byte.

However, another encoding, known as "Unicode", has become increasingly prominent, even in English-speaking countries. A Unicode character requires 2 bytes to store a single character. Some programming languages are even beginning to make Unicode the default Encoding, or include some features that enables Unicode throughout a single project. Currently, the "System.String" class within the .NET Framework is made up of purely Unicode characters, with no capacity to change this without implementing some kind of a 'hack'.