Octet

What Does Octet Mean?

An octet is a series of 8 bits. It is an important 8-bit designation that has played a significant role in the development of the personal computer (PC) and other hardware devices.

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Techopedia Explains Octet

Some of the first microprocessors used 8-bit technologies. Further IT advances led to ever greater capacities, like 8-bit to 16-bit processors. In general, the 8-bit central processing unit (CPU) required a 16-bit address bus. The actual set of permutations involved in an octet is 256. The conventional capacity of an 8-bit system is 64 kilobytes (KB).

Because the bit is a fundamental unit of data, the 8-bit label can be applied to many different aspects of IT, including address spaces, units of memory or processor capacity. Many 8-bit designations are associated with retro technologies, such as early computers that utilized an 8-bit processor for what is now considered a limited capacity.

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Margaret Rouse
Technology Expert

Margaret is an award-winning technical writer and teacher known for her ability to explain complex technical subjects to a non-technical business audience. Over the past twenty years, her IT definitions have been published by Que in an encyclopedia of technology terms and cited in articles by the New York Times, Time Magazine, USA Today, ZDNet, PC Magazine, and Discovery Magazine. She joined Techopedia in 2011. Margaret's idea of a fun day is helping IT and business professionals learn to speak each other’s highly specialized languages.