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RE: The Gibit


I agree with Roger that we shall use those terms. Else the IEEE editor or
the SCC 10 will do for you.

	There is one minor issue with your first paragraph, Roger. You wrote
"..1 Kbit is really 1024 bits. ", but you meant "  1 Kibit is really 1024

IEEE 802.11 used a symbol in its first standard that was 1024 times the unit
symbol. Because IEC was not yet ready at that time we had to make a new


> ----------
> From: 	Roger B. Marks[]
> Sent: 	Saturday, December 18, 1999 06:47
> To:
> Subject: 	The Gibit
> Folks,
> I can already hear the groans, but I'd like to bring up the Gibit.
> As you may know, a year ago the IEC published new prefixes which 
> recognize that what used to be called, for example, 1 Kbit is really 
> 1024 bits. Some new terms are:
> kibibit		Kibit
> mebibit		Mibit
> gibibit		Gibit
> tebibit		Tibit
> As you know, the difference between the conventional computer usage 
> and the actual powers of 1000 grows with each step; e.g. 1 Tibit is 
> about 10% larger than 1 Tbit. Sometimes these differences are 
> critical. Take, for example, the two data rates that the new "10 Gb" 
> Ethernet PAR is addressing. There is real potential for confusion 
> here. Besides, since many of our standards end up in IEC, it seems to 
> me a real possibility that IEC will some day want us to conform.
> [By the way, IEC doesn't recognize the abbreviation "b" for bit; they 
> just use the word "bit".]
> And don't let the pronunciation bother you; I just pronounce "10 
> Gibit/s" as if it were "10 Gibits". A lot easier than "10 Gigabits 
> per second."
> So I think we need to start thinking about migrating from Gb/s to 
> Gibit/s within 802.
> Cheers,
> Roger
> P.S. Here are some references:
> (1) IEEE Standards supports the new definitions and thinks there are 
> significant inconsistencies with the conventional usage. For example, 
> did you know that a 1 GB disk drive has 1 million bytes, not 
> 1024*1024 Bytes? See:
> (2) NIST provides an excellent summary and a reference to the IEEE 
> Standards position:
> (3) A few months ago, some of my comments on this topic 
> <> were 
> included in Jeffrey Harrow's web-based column "The Rapidly Changing 
> Face of Computing." Part of my note became the title of the article 
> "Een schijf van 10 tebibyte" in the Science section of the Dutch 
> daily newspaper _Reformatorisch Dagblad_ (May 4, 1999). It's a good 
> article <>, if you read 
> Dutch.