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More About Endianness

 

Endianness is the byte (and sometimes bit) ordering used to represent some kind of data.

Also referred to as byte order.

 

For example a 'C' variable of data type float consists of four bytes. There are variations in storage sequence of these four bytes among different systems.

 

Endianness is crucial in communication systems implementation. Need to ensure that data reaches destination in the correct byte order.

 

Two most commonly used byte ordering systems are:


  • Big Endian. Most significant byte of data unit is stored first in memory followed by the rest in descending order of significance. Motorola 68000 and PowerPC are examples of
    processors that adopt Big Endian byte ordering.

  • Little Endian. The least significant byte of data unit is stored first in memory followed by the rest in ascending order of significance. Examples of such processors are Intel x86 and
    Z80.
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    Note: Most modern computer processors agree on bit ordering inside individual bytes. The library therefore has no provision for manipulating bit ordering.

     

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