Megabyte

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A megabyte is a unit of measurement in computers of approximately one million bytes.

Because of irregularities in definition and usage of the kilobyte, the exact number could be any one of the following:

  1. 1,048,576 bytes - 1024 times 1024, or 220. This is the definition used in computer science and computer programming. This is 1024 times a Kilobyte.
  2. 1,000,000 bytes or 106 - this is the definition used by telecommunications engineers and storage manufacturers
  3. 1,024,000 bytes - 1024 times 1000. This is an (erroneous) definition used by floppy disk manufacturers

See integral data type.

A gigabyte is 1024 times an megabyte.


To clarify the meaning(1) above, the International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC), a standards body, in 1997 proposed short unions of the International System of Units (SI) prefixes with the word "binary." Thus meaning (1) would be called a mebibyte. This naming convention has not been widely accepted.

links: http://www.quinion.com/words/turnsofphrase/tp-kib1.htm

http://www.nist.gov/public_affairs/techbeat/tb9903.htm