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A bit block transfer is a procedure to transfer blocks of memory, often in the form of visual pixels, between destinations. The term goes back to the 1970s and the use of this sort of routine for sending bitmap graphics in blocks. For example, A bit block transfer process may be used to render sprites onto a visual background.
A bit block transfer is also known as bit blit, BLT or BITBLT.
A bit block transfer process may involve transforming blocks of pixels and changing the color value or shade of a block of pixels, or changing the orientation of a visual image. Some video components include bit block transfer capabilities so that they can transfer graphics faster than they otherwise would through conventional means. This may be accomplished by using a “blitter” which is a dedicated circuit intended to copy large quantities of data and send them to a certain memory storage area.
BLT has also been used to describe a bitmap terminal engineered by Rob Pike at Bell Labs, which was later to become the AT&T 5620. Here, the word “blit” is rumored to stand for “bacon, lettuce and interactive tomato.”