Definition - What does Megabits Per Second (Mbps) mean?
Megabits Per Second (Mbps) is a measurement unit applied to digital data transfer rates (DTR) related to any type of media or computer. One Mb equals one million (1,000,000 or 106) bits or 1,000 kilobits (Kb). One Mbps is capable of downloading one million bits of data per second.
The International System of Units (SI) defines the mega prefix as a 106 multiplier or one million (1,000,000) bits. The binary mega prefix is 1,048,576 bits or 1,024 Kb. The SI and binary differential is approximately 4.86 percent.
Central processing units (CPU) are built with data control instructions for bits--the smallest data measurement unit. Bits are magnetized and polarized binary digits that represent stored digital data in random access memory (RAM) or read-only memory (ROM). A bit is measured in seconds and characterized by high-voltage 1 (on) or 0 (off) values.
Mb continue to apply to a number of measurement contexts, including:
Internet/Ethernet data: Download and data transfer rate (DTR) speeds as Mbps.
Data storage: 16-bit game cartridges with eight Mb storage, including Mega Drive (Genesis) and Super Nintendo Entertainment System (SNES).
Random-access memory (RAM) and read only memory (ROM): A double-data-rate three (DDR3) chip contains 512 Mb.
Mbps is commonly used when indicating high speed data rates of mobile telephony systems. A typical Web file transfer is in megabytes (MB). For example, a network connection with an eight Mbps DTR must reach a Web DTR of one megabyte (MB) per second (MBps).
In 2000, the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) incorporated the International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC) formal approval of SI metric prefixes (for example, MB as one million bytes and KB as one thousand bytes). Newly added metric terms include:
Kibibyte (KiB) equals 1,024 bytes.
Mebibyte (MiB) equals 1,048,576 bytes.
Gibibyte (GiB) equals 1,073,741,824 bytes.