• Numbers, characters, symbols and instructions are stored in memory
  • Memory consists of many million storage cells, each of which can store a bit of information having the value 0 or 1
  • These bits are handled in groups
  • Memory is organized in such a way that a group of n bits can be stored or retrieved in a single basic operation.
  • Each group of n bits is referred to as a word of information and n is called the word length
  • Word length of a computers can be 16, 32,64 bits
  • If a word length of a computer is 32 bits, then a single word can store 32 bits
  • A group of 8 bits are called as byte
  • Accessing the memory to store and retrieve a single item of information, either a word or a byte, requires distinct names or addresses for each item location
  • It is customary to use numbers from 0 to 2k-1 , for some suitable value of k, as addresses of successive locations in memory
  • 2k constitute the address space of computer and memory can have up to 2k addressable locations
  • If k=2 then 22 the address space is 4 and addressable locations are 0,1,2,3. Similarly if k=16 the address space is 216 and addressable locations are 0,1…65535

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