Browse Definitions :
Definition

binary coded decimal

Contributor(s): Stan Gibilisco

Binary coded decimal (BCD) is a system of writing numerals that assigns a four-digit binary code to each digit 0 through 9 in a decimal (base-10) numeral. The four-bit BCD code for any particular single base-10 digit is its representation in binary notation, as follows:

0 = 0000
1 = 0001
2 = 0010
3 = 0011
4 = 0100
5 = 0101
6 = 0110
7 = 0111
8 = 1000
9 = 1001

Numbers larger than 9, having two or more digits in the decimal system, are expressed digit by digit. For example, the BCD rendition of the base-10 number 1895 is

0001 1000 1001 0101

The binary equivalents of 1, 8, 9, and 5, always in a four-digit format, go from left to right.

The BCD representation of a number is not the same, in general, as its simple binary representation. In binary form, for example, the decimal quantity 1895 appears as

11101100111

Other bit patterns are sometimes used in BCD format to represent special characters relevant to a particular system, such as sign (positive or negative), error condition, or overflow condition.

The BCD system offers relative ease of conversion between machine-readable and human-readable numerals. As compared to the simple binary system, however, BCD increases the circuit complexity. The BCD system is not as widely used today as it was a few decades ago, although some systems still employ BCD in financial applications.

This was last updated in August 2012

SearchCompliance

SearchSecurity

  • cyber attack

    A cyber attack is any attempt to gain unauthorized access to a computer, computing system or computer network with the intent to ...

  • backdoor (computing)

    A backdoor is a means to access a computer system or encrypted data that bypasses the system's customary security mechanisms.

  • post-quantum cryptography

    Post-quantum cryptography, also called quantum encryption, is the development of cryptographic systems for classical computers ...

SearchHealthIT

SearchDisasterRecovery

  • risk mitigation

    Risk mitigation is a strategy to prepare for and lessen the effects of threats faced by a business.

  • call tree

    A call tree is a layered hierarchical communication model that is used to notify specific individuals of an event and coordinate ...

  • Disaster Recovery as a Service (DRaaS)

    Disaster recovery as a service (DRaaS) is the replication and hosting of physical or virtual servers by a third party to provide ...

SearchStorage

  • cloud SLA (cloud service-level agreement)

    A cloud SLA (cloud service-level agreement) is an agreement between a cloud service provider and a customer that ensures a ...

  • NOR flash memory

    NOR flash memory is one of two types of non-volatile storage technologies.

  • RAM (Random Access Memory)

    RAM (Random Access Memory) is the hardware in a computing device where the operating system (OS), application programs and data ...

Close