16-Bit

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.
  • Webopedia Staff
    Since 1995, more than 100 tech experts and researchers have kept Webopedia’s definitions, articles, and study guides up to date. For more information on current editorial staff, please visit our About page.

    Top Articles

    The Complete List of 1559 Common Text Abbreviations & Acronyms

    From A3 to ZZZ we list 1,559 SMS, online chat, and text abbreviations to help you translate and understand today's texting lingo. Includes Top...

    List of Windows Operating System Versions & History [In Order]

    The Windows operating system (Windows OS) refers to a family of operating systems developed by Microsoft Corporation. We look at the history of Windows...

    How to Create a Website Shortcut on Your Desktop

    Website Shortcut on Your Desktop reviewed by Web Webster   This Webopedia guide will show you how to create a website shortcut on your desktop using...

    Generations of Computers (1st to 5th)

    Reviewed by Web Webster Learn about each of the 5 generations of computers and major technology developments that have led to the computing devices that...

    Glassdoor

    Glassdoor is an online job search and review platform for people seeking new...

    GitLab

    GitLab is a DevOps platform where software development and IT operations teams collaborate...

    Udemy

    Udemy is a massive open online course (MOOC) platform offering a range of...