Placeholder CPU knowledge - Endianness article | SINSMART

CPU knowledge - Endianness article

Endianness refers to the byte order of data stored in a computer's memory or on disk. It determines the order in which individual bytes of a multi-byte data type are stored.

There are two types of endianness: little-endian and big-endian.

In little-endian format, the least significant byte (LSB) of the data is stored at the lowest memory address and the most significant byte (MSB) is stored at the highest memory address. This means that the first byte of a multi-byte data type will contain the LSB.

In big-endian format, the opposite is true. The MSB is stored at the lowest memory address and the LSB is stored at the highest memory address. This means that the first byte of a multi-byte data type will contain the MSB.

Endianness is important because it affects the way data is stored and processed by the CPU. If two systems with different endianness communicate with each other, they need to agree on the byte order of the data they exchange. This is especially important in network communication, where data is transmitted between systems with potentially different endianness.

It's worth noting that the endianness of a system is determined by its architecture and is not specific to a particular operating system. For example, x86 CPUs are usually little-endian, while some RISC CPUs, such as PowerPC and SPARC, are big-endian.

In conclusion, endianness is an important concept to understand when working with multi-byte data types in computer systems and when designing systems that communicate with each other. Understanding endianness can help avoid issues related to incorrect data representation and processing.

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