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4 definitions found
 for byte
From WordNet (r) 3.0 (2006) :

  byte
      n 1: a sequence of 8 bits (enough to represent one character of
           alphanumeric data) processed as a single unit of
           information

From The Jargon File (version 4.4.7, 29 Dec 2003) :

  byte
   /bi:t/, n.
  
      [techspeak] A unit of memory or data equal to the amount used to represent
      one character; on modern architectures this is invariably 8 bits. Some
      older architectures used byte for quantities of 6, 7, or (especially) 9
      bits, and the PDP-10 supported bytes that were actually bitfields of 1 to
      36 bits! These usages are now obsolete, killed off by universal adoption of
      power-of-2 word sizes.
  
      Historical note: The term was coined by Werner Buchholz in 1956 during the
      early design phase for the IBM Stretch computer; originally it was
      described as 1 to 6 bits (typical I/O equipment of the period used 6-bit
      chunks of information). The move to an 8-bit byte happened in late 1956,
      and this size was later adopted and promulgated as a standard by the System
      /360. The word was coined by mutating the word ?bite? so it would not be
      accidentally misspelled as bit. See also nybble.
  

From The Free On-line Dictionary of Computing (30 December 2018) :

  Byte
  
      A popular computing magazine.
  
     http://byte.com)">(http://byte.com).
  
     (1997-03-27)
  

From The Free On-line Dictionary of Computing (30 December 2018) :

  byte
  bite
  
      /bi:t/ (B) A component in the machine data hierarchy
     larger than a bit and usually smaller than a word; now
     nearly always eight bits and the smallest addressable unit of
     storage.  A byte typically holds one character.
  
     A byte may be 9 bits on 36-bit computers.  Some older
     architectures used "byte" for quantities of 6 or 7 bits, and
     the PDP-10 and IBM 7030 supported "bytes" that were actually
     bit-fields of 1 to 36 (or 64) bits!  These usages are now
     obsolete, and even 9-bit bytes have become rare in the general
     trend toward power-of-2 word sizes.
  
     The term was coined by Werner Buchholz in 1956 during the
     early design phase for the IBM Stretch computer.  It was a
     mutation of the word "bite" intended to avoid confusion with
     "bit".  In 1962 he described it as "a group of bits used to
     encode a character, or the number of bits transmitted in
     parallel to and from input-output units".  The move to an
     8-bit byte happened in late 1956, and this size was later
     adopted and promulgated as a standard by the System/360
     operating system (announced April 1964).
  
     James S. Jones  adds:
  
     I am sure I read in a mid-1970's brochure by IBM that outlined
     the history of computers that BYTE was an acronym that stood
     for "Bit asYnchronous Transmission E..?" which related to
     width of the bus between the Stretch CPU and its CRT-memory
     (prior to Core).
  
     Terry Carr  says:
  
     In the early days IBM taught that a series of bits transferred
     together (like so many yoked oxen) formed a Binary Yoked
     Transfer Element (BYTE).
  
     [True origin?  First 8-bit byte architecture?]
  
     See also nibble, octet.
  
     [{Jargon File]
  
     (2003-09-21)
  

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