I have actually tried to get a understand of what "word" means and I have looked in the wiki and the an interpretation is vague. So my inquiry is what is "word size"? Is it the length of the data bus, resolve bus?


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"Word size" describes the number of bits handle by a computer"s CPU in one go (these days, frequently 32 bits or 64 bits). Data bus size, accuse size, address size are usually multiples of the word size.

You are watching: Refers to the number of bits that are processed at one time

Just to confused matters, for backwards compatibility, Microsoft home windows API defines a WORD as being 16 bits, a DWORD together 32 bits and also a QWORD as 64 bits, nevertheless of the processor.


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But any more computers can accessibility individual bytes or can accessibility strings that data dozens that bytes long, with one fairly seamless operation. Much more far-reaching than the technological word dimension is the memory buss width, which identify how many bytes deserve to be transferred in between CPU and also memory in one storage "cycle".

So "word size" is rather meaningless, and also (as one more answer suggests) companies choose Microsoft will often specify it in an arbitrarily manner, with no genuine relationship to anything.


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answer Nov 6 "13 at 19:56
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Consider the following:

CPU (processor), ram (main memory), I/O devices (mouse, keyboard, printer), Bus (data transport component).

How would certainly you choose these computer system parts to communicate and transfer data?you definitely need a fixed size of bits come be taken into consideration a single unit the data.

For that, computer system scientists agreed come standardize this unit to it is in 32 bits or 64 bits (depending on the manufacturer choice).

They gave this unit a name and called the a Word.

So a native is nothing yet a unit that data (bunch the bits (signal charges of zeros and also ones)) that moves approximately from a computer component come another.

For instance buses are constructed with 32 bits (4 bytes) and also some through 64 bits (8 bytes). Similarly with the CPU (hardware) and also operating solution (software) are constructed with either 32 bits or 64 bits.

It just happened to be the traditional unit called Word and also sized 32 bits or 64 bits.

See more: Which Of The Following Sentences Contains A Dangling Modifier ?

Ps: Word is one of the many data size units the move roughly inside the computer, different computer system components use different sizes to deliver data (signals charges that stand for zeros and ones), for circumstances RAM deserve to use size of 64 bits while Buses deserve to use 32 bits. Hardware designers design the design of materials taking right into account these size distinctions to one of two people implement Word dimension of 32 bits on only CPU however 64 bits on RAM, or perform the same size on every components, ...etc. Native size used to be 8 bits (1 byte), but nowadays the most comment unit dimension is 64 bits on most computer components such together CPU or RAM, or Bus, ...etc.