Browse Definitions :
Definition

pixel

The pixel (a word invented from "picture element") is the basic unit of programmable color on a computer display or in a computer image. Think of it as a logical - rather than a physical - unit. The physical size of a pixel depends on how you've set the resolution for the display screen. If you've set the display to its maximum resolution, the physical size of a pixel will equal the physical size of the dot pitch (let's just call it the dot size) of the display. If, however, you've set the resolution to something less than the maximum resolution, a pixel will be larger than the physical size of the screen's dot (that is, a pixel will use more than one dot).

The specific color that a pixel describes is some blend of three components of the color spectrum - RGB. Up to three bytes of data are allocated for specifying a pixel's color, one byte for each major color component. A true color or 24-bit color system uses all three bytes. However, many color display systems use only one byte (limiting the display to 256 different colors).

A bitmap is a file that indicates a color for each pixel along the horizontal axis or row (called the x coordinate) and a color for each pixel along the vertical axis (called the y coordinate). A Graphics Interchange Format file, for example, contains a bitmap of an image (along with other data).

Screen image sharpness is sometimes expressed as dpi (dots per inch). (In this usage, the term dot means pixel, not dot as in dot pitch.) Dots per inch is determined by both the physical screen size and the resolution setting. A given image will have lower resolution - fewer dots per inch - on a larger screen as the same data is spread out over a larger physical area. On the same size screen, the image will have lower resolution if the resolution setting is made lower - resetting from 800 by 600 pixels per horizontal and vertical line to 640 by 480 means fewer dots per inch on the screen and an image that is less sharp. (On the other hand, individual image elements such as text will be larger in size.)

Pixel replaced an earlier contraction of picture element, pel.

This was last updated in July 2015

Continue Reading About pixel

SearchCompliance
  • risk reporting

    Risk reporting is a method of identifying risks tied to or potentially impacting an organization's business processes.

  • risk profile

    A risk profile is a quantitative analysis of the types of threats an organization, asset, project or individual faces.

  • risk appetite

    Risk appetite is the amount of risk an organization is willing to take in pursuit of objectives it deems have value.

SearchSecurity
SearchHealthIT
SearchDisasterRecovery
  • What is risk mitigation?

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

  • fault-tolerant

    Fault-tolerant technology is a capability of a computer system, electronic system or network to deliver uninterrupted service, ...

  • synchronous replication

    Synchronous replication is the process of copying data over a storage area network, local area network or wide area network so ...

SearchStorage
  • cloud archive

    A cloud archive is storage as a service for long-term data retention.

  • cache

    A cache -- pronounced CASH -- is hardware or software that is used to store something, usually data, temporarily in a computing ...

  • archive

    An archive is a collection of data moved to a repository for long-term retention, to keep separate for compliance reasons or for ...

Close