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16-bit refers to a certain measurement of units of memory or data, of 16 bits in size. 16-bit technologies are technologies that are built for 16-bit data sets, or with a 16-bit data handling capacity or with 16-bit sized registers. In general, the technology world has moved far beyond 16-bit technology to the world of gigabytes, terabytes and even more massive measurements of data size.
Examples of 16-bit technologies include some computers and devices of the 1970s, as well as a line of Motorola processors built with 16-bit standards. Another good example is the slate of 16-bit video game consoles developed in the 1990s, including Neo Geo, Sega Genesis and Super NES.
To understand the technical capability of a 16-bit model, one may take a look at the video games played on 16-bit consoles to see the graphics and audio/video limitations of a 16-bit technology. Although limited compared to modern standards, 16-bit technology offered significant advancements over the previous generation of 8-bit technology.