"Word size" describes the variety of bits processed by a computer"s CPU in one walk (these days, typically 32 bits or 64 bits). Data bus size, indict size, deal with size room usually multiples of the word size.
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Just to confused matters, for backwards compatibility, Microsoft windows API specifies a WORD as being 16 bits, a DWORD together 32 bits and a QWORD as 64 bits, nevertheless of the processor.
But any much more computers can access individual bytes or can accessibility strings the data dozens that bytes long, v one relatively seamless operation. Much more far-ranging than the technological word dimension is the storage buss width, which identify how numerous bytes deserve to be transferred between CPU and memory in one memory "cycle".
So "word size" is somewhat meaningless, and (as another answer suggests) companies choose Microsoft will certainly often specify it in an arbitrarily manner, v no real relationship to anything.
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answer Nov 6 "13 in ~ 19:56
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Consider the following:
CPU (processor), ram (main memory), I/O tools (mouse, keyboard, printer), Bus (data deliver component).
How would you prefer these computer system parts to communicate and also transfer data?you certainly need a fixed dimension of bits come be considered a solitary unit of data.
For that, computer scientists agreed come standardize this unit to be 32 bits or 64 bits (depending on the manufacturer choice).
They gave this unit a name and called the a Word.
So a indigenous is nothing yet a unit that data (bunch of bits (signal charges of zeros and also ones)) the moves about from a computer component come another.
For instance buses are built with 32 bits (4 bytes) and some v 64 bits (8 bytes). Likewise with the CPU (hardware) and also operating solution (software) are built with either 32 bits or 64 bits.
It simply happened to be the traditional unit called Word and sized 32 bits or 64 bits.
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Ps: Word is just one of the plenty of data dimension units that move about inside the computer, different computer system components use various sizes to transport data (signals charges that represent zeros and ones), for circumstances RAM have the right to use dimension of 64 bits when Buses deserve to use 32 bits. Hardware designers design the design of materials taking into account these size distinctions to either implement Word size of 32 bits on just CPU but 64 bits ~ above RAM, or implement the very same size on every components, ...etc. Native size offered to be 8 bits (1 byte), however nowadays the most comment unit dimension is 64 bits on most computer components such together CPU or RAM, or Bus, ...etc.