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What is the smallest unit of data a computer can process?

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Quick Answer

A bit is the smallest unit of data a computer can process. A bit, short for binary digit, has a value of zero or one.

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What is the smallest unit of data a computer can process?
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Full Answer

Computers work by using the binary system, where the only numbers counted are zero and one. When a group of eight bits are put together, it is called one byte of information. A byte can make 256 individual values from zero to 255 by using all the possible combinations of zeros and ones. Standard Unicode assigns a different character to each value. Characters include upper and lower case letters, numbers, symbols, punctuation marks and instructions such as space.

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