Webopedia on Google+Webopedia on TwitterWebopedia on FacebookTech Bytes Blog
Main » TERM » 1 »


Refers to the number of bits that can be processed or transmitted in parallel, or the number of bits used for single element in a data format. The term is often applied to the following:
  • microprocessor: indicates the width of the registers. A 16-bit microprocessor can process data and memory addresses that are represented by 16 bits.
  • bus : indicates the number of wires in the bus. A 16-bit bus transmits 16 bits in parallel.
  • graphics device, such as a scanner or digital camera : specifies the number of bits used to represent each pixel.
  • operating system: refers primarily to the number of bits used to represent memory addresses. Windows 3.x is a 16-bit operating system, whereas Windows 95 and Windows NT are 32-bit operating systems.
  • expansion board: refers to how much data can be sent to and from the card in parallel. 8-bit cards are sometimes called half-size cards whereas 16-bit cards are referred to as full-size cards.

    8 Agenda Apps to Help Students Stay Organized

    Webopedia's student apps roundup will help you to better organize your class schedule and stay on top of assignments and homework. Read More »

    List of Free Shorten URL Services

    A URL shortener is a way to make a long Web address shorter. Try this list of free services. Read More »

    Top 10 Tech Terms of 2015

    The most popular Webopedia definitions of 2015. Read More »

    Java Basics, Part 1

    Java is a high-level programming language. This guide describes the basics of Java, providing an overview of syntax, variables, data types and... Read More »

    Java Basics, Part 2

    This second Study Guide describes the basics of Java, providing an overview of operators, modifiers and control Structures. Read More »

    The 7 Layers of the OSI Model

    The Open System Interconnection (OSI) model defines a networking framework to implement protocols in seven layers. Use this handy guide to compare... Read More »