Browse Definitions:
Definition

UTF-16 (16- bit Unicode Transformation Format)

UTF-16 (16- bit Unicode Transformation Format) is a standard method of encoding Unicode character data. Part of the Unicode Standard version 3.0 (and higher-numbered versions), UTF-16 has the capacity to encode all currently defined Unicode characters. UTF-16 is specified in Annex Q of the ISO/IEC 10646 standard and in the IETF RFC 2781.

Unicode is designed to accommodate all of the world's known writing systems. The system currently employs three different encodings to represent Unicode character sets: UTF-8, UTF-16 and UTF-32. Each encoding defines a system whereby characters in some character set may be represented in binary form in a file . Each such binary representation of a character is called a code point. Unicode can define over one million distinct encodings (10FFFF code points in hexadecimal ; 1,114,112 in decimal). Unicode code points are divided into 17 planes, of which Planes 0 through 2 are most common:

  • Plane 0, known as the Basic Multilingual Pane (BMP) contains characters for almost all modern languages as well as most common special characters.
  • Plane 1, known as the Supplementary Multilingual Plane (SMP) is used primarily for historic scripts such as Linear B and for musical and mathematical symbols .
  • Plane 2, known as the Supplementary Ideographic Plane (SIP), is used for about 40,000 Unified Han Ideographs seldom used in daily written communications.
The remaining planes are, as yet, largely unused.

UTF-16 encodes characters into specific binary sequences using either one or two 16-bit sequences. Because there are three different encoding schemes to map code points to 8-bit or octet sequences, there are three different encoding schemes around the basic 16-bit sequence model.

UTF-16 is sometimes used interchangeably with UCS-2 although such use is not strictly correct.

This was last updated in March 2011

Continue Reading About UTF-16 (16- bit Unicode Transformation Format)

Start the conversation

Send me notifications when other members comment.

By submitting you agree to receive email from TechTarget and its partners. If you reside outside of the United States, you consent to having your personal data transferred to and processed in the United States. Privacy

Please create a username to comment.

-ADS BY GOOGLE

File Extensions and File Formats

SearchCompliance

  • smart contract

    A smart contract, also known as a cryptocontract, is a computer program that directly controls the transfer of digital currencies...

  • risk map (risk heat map)

    A risk map, also known as a risk heat map, is a data visualization tool for communicating specific risks an organization faces. A...

  • internal audit (IA)

    An internal audit (IA) is an organizational initiative to monitor and analyze its own business operations in order to determine ...

SearchSecurity

  • evil maid attack

    An evil maid attack is a security exploit that targets a computing device that has been shut down and left unattended.  An evil ...

  • Common Body of Knowledge (CBK)

    In security, Common Body of Knowledge (CBK) is a comprehensive framework of all the relevant subjects a security professional ...

  • rootkit

    A rootkit is a program or, more often, a collection of software tools that gives a threat actor remote access to and control over...

SearchHealthIT

  • value-based healthcare

    Value-based healthcare, also known as value-based care, is a payment model that rewards healthcare providers for providing ...

  • health informatics

    Health informatics is the practice of acquiring, studying and managing health data and applying medical concepts in conjunction ...

  • clinical trial

    A clinical trial, also known as a clinical research study, is a protocol to evaluate the effects and efficacy of experimental ...

SearchDisasterRecovery

  • crisis communication

    Crisis communication is a method of corresponding with people and organizations during a disruptive event to provide them with ...

  • Zerto

    Zerto is a storage software vendor that specializes in enterprise-class business continuity and disaster recovery in virtual and ...

  • crisis management plan (CMP)

    A crisis management plan (CMP) is a document that outlines the processes an organization will use to respond to a critical ...

SearchStorage

  • hard disk

    A hard disk is part of a unit -- often called a disk drive, hard drive or hard disk drive -- that stores and provides relatively ...

  • cache memory

    Cache memory, also called CPU memory, is high-speed static random access memory (SRAM) that a computer microprocessor can access ...

  • RAID 10 (RAID 1+0)

    RAID 10, also known as RAID 1+0, is a RAID configuration that combines disk mirroring and disk striping to protect data.

SearchSolidStateStorage

  • hybrid hard disk drive (HDD)

    A hybrid hard disk drive is an electromechanical spinning hard disk that contains some amount of NAND Flash memory.

Close