May 28, 2024

Numbering system

Every computer store numbers, letters, and other special characters in a coded form. So it is essential to have a basic understanding of the number system.

There are two types numbering system: non positional and positional.


 Number Systems In this system, we have symbols such as I for 1, II for 2, III for 3, IIII for 4 etc.. Since it is very difficult to perform arithmetic with such number system, positional number systems were developed.

Positional Number Systems

Positional number systems consist of a limited set of digits that represent varying values depending on their position within the number. The value of each digit is determined by three factors.

  • The digit itself.
  • Digit’s position in the number, and
  • The base of the number system (where base is determined as the total number of digits available in the number system)

There are 4 positional number systems:

  • Decimal Number System
  • Binary Number system
  • Hexadecimal Number System
  • Octal Number System

Decimal number system

The number system that we use in our daily activity is called the Decimal number system. Decimal number system is a base 10 system which means there are 10 digits starting from 0 to 9 to represent any quantity. In Decimal number system Value of the digits depends on the position they hold.

Look at the following example:

1234= one thousand two hundred and thirty four.

In this example we have four digits 1,2,3,4. The value of each digit in this example is based on their position.

1 in this example means 1×103

2 in this example means 2×102

3 in this example means 3×101

4 in this example means 4×100

So the total value is 4×100 + 3×101 + 2×102 +1×103 =1234

Binary Number System

The Binary Number system is a base 2 system with only two digits 0 and 1. Each position in a binary number represents a power of the base (2).

Look at the following example:

If the given binary number is 1100.


In 1×23

  • 1 is binary number
  • 2 is the base
  • 3 is the power of base.

Octal Number System

 Octal Number System is a base 8 system. in octal number system there are only eight digits: 0,1,2,3,4,5,6,7. The position in octal number represents a power of the base 8. Since there are only 8 digits in the octal number system, 3 bits are sufficient to represent any octal number in binary.

Look at the following example:

If the given octal number is 1457.


In 1×83

  • 1 is octal number
  • 8 is the base
  • 3 is the power of base.

Hexadecimal Number System

Hexadecimal number system is a base 16 system with 16 digits namely 0,1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8,9,A,B,C,D,E,F; Where A represents 10 in decimal, B represents 11 in decimal , C represents 12 in decimal , D represents 13 in decimal, E represents 14 in decimal and F represents 15 in decimal.

Look at the following example:

If the given Hexadecimal number is 1457.


In 1×163

  • 1 is hexadecimal number
  • 16 is the base
  • 3 is the power of base.

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