The 16-bit reference article from the English Wikipedia on 24-Jul-2004
(provided by Fixed Reference: snapshots of Wikipedia from


See the real Africa
16-bit means using words containing sixteen bits. This adjective often refers to the number of bits used internally by a computer's CPU. E.g. "The Intel 8086 is a sixteen-bit processor". Its external data bus or address bus may be narrower. The term may also refer to the size of an instruction in the computer's instruction set or to any other item of data.

The range of integer values that can be stored in 16 bits is 0 through 65535, or -32768 through 32767 using two's complement coding.

See also: 16-bit application, 16-bit era, 32-bit, 32-bit application, 64-bit

This article (or an earlier version of it) contains material from FOLDOC, used with permission. Update as needed.