Units of storage in a computer – KB MB GB TB etc

Various devices that we use today like smartphones, Computers, Tablets, etc. deal with electronic data. An electronic data is the sequence of 0 and 1 bits. Computers and other storage devices store electronic data in their Memories in the form of digital information. We often use external devices like Pendrive, Hard disc, etc. to store important documents so that we can access these documents remotely. But, there is a certain limitation in the amount of data storage. Physical quantities like length, mass, time, etc. have units to specify the amount of these quantities. Does Computer storage have such units? If yes, then how many units are there and what are the relations between these units? In this short article, I’m going to share different units of storage in a Computer and their relations.

Contents in this article:

  1. Computer memory unit
  2. What are the units of storage in a Computer?
  3. Relation between units of computer storage

What is Computer Memory Unit?

Electronic data in a device occupy some space. This is because every file has a size depending on the amount of data stored in it. For measuring the size of a file or the space in computer memory, units are essential. These units are known as Computer memory units. KB, MB, GB, etc. are some well-known units of memory in a computer.

Basic units of storage in a Computer

Units of Storage in a Computer
Units of Storage in a Computer

A physical quantity like mass has different units like milligram, gram, kilogram, etc. Similarly, the storage of a computer has 12 different units depending on the size of files. Here I’m interested to expose 7 units of storage in a computer that are mostly used. Let’s begin!

Bit

Bits are the basic building blocks of storage capacity of a computer. 0 and 1 are the two binary bits. All electronic data are made of several bits. A 0-bit represents the lower state of a digital signal while a 1-bit gives upper state of a digital signal. In binary system, 0-bit is false or OFF state and 1-bit is True or ON state. Bit is the smallest unit storage in a computer.

Byte

The Byte is a unit of data storage in a computer that contains eight bits. It is an 8-bit long memory unit in a computer. For example, 01001001 is a Byte as it has 8 bits. The unit of memory starts from bytes. However, a memory of a few bytes cannot store much data. The size of a very small file like a letter or symbol or number is in bytes. A word consists of 16 bits. A group of 4 bits is equal to a Nibble.

Kilobyte (KB)

Kilobyte or KB is another unit of information stored in computers. This is a larger unit than a byte. Small files like an image, a very short voice clip, a GIF, etc. have sizes in the range of a few kilobytes. Do you know that KB and kb are not the same? Yes, they are different. “KB” means Kilobyte and “kb” means Kilobit. We already know that bit and byte are not the same. Their relations are given in the “Relation between the units of storage” section below.

Megabyte (MB)

Megabyte (MB) is one of the most common units of the size of an electronic file. It is a larger unit than a kilobyte. Almost all internet users are familiar with Megabyte. A medium size electronic file like music, a short clip of a movie, the size of a website, etc. is in the order of Megabytes. Most of the files that we use and share have the size of MBs. Cache memory has the size of 2 MB. Of course, MB and mb are not the same.

Gigabyte (GB)

Gigabyte is a greater storage unit than Megabytes. Larger files like a movie, recorded lectures, etc. have sizes in Gigabytes. The entire memory of a smartphone, android, iPhone, etc. is in Gigabytes (31 GB, 64 GB, 128 GB, etc.).

Terabyte (TB)

Terabyte (TB) is a higher unit of computer memory. It is multiple Megabytes. A Terabyte is a kind of storage that can store a very large amount of data. This type of unit is applicable for the memory of an entire computer or hard disc.

Petabyte (PB)

A Petabyte is one step larger than a Megabyte that consists of a large number of bits. Petabyte memory can store a thousand of movies and lecture videos. The entire memory of a few computers can be stored in a Petabyte memory. Large companies require to store huge data in their database. They use such type of storage unit.

There are three other units of memory in a computer like Exabyte, Zettabyte, Yottabyte, Bronte byte and Geopbyte. Among these units, Geopbyte is the largest unit of storage in computer memory.

Relation between different units of computer storage

So far we become to know nine different units of storage in a computer. We all know that 1 kilogram mass equals to 1000 gram mass, 1 kilometer length equals to 1000 meter length. That means different units of a physical quantity have relations between these. It makes easier to convert the data from one unit to another.

Do storage units in computers have such relations between them? Fortunately, they have. Let’s know these relations from the following data storage units chart.

  • Bits : 0 and 1
  • 1 byte = 8 bits
  • 1 Kilobyte = 210 bytes = 1024 bytes
  • 1 Megabyte = 210 Kilobytes = 1024 Kilobytes
  • 1 Gigabyte = 210 Megabytes = 1024 Megabytes
  • 1 Terabyte = 210 Megabytes = 1024 Megabytes
  • 1 Petabyte = 210 Terabytes = 1024 Terabytes
  • 1 Exabyte = 210 Petabytes = 1024 Petabytes
  • 1 Zettabyte = 210 Exabytes = 1024 Exabytes
  • 1 Yottabyte = 210 Zettabytes = 1024 Zettabytes
  • 1 Bronte byte = 210 Yottabytes = 1024 Yottabytes
  • 1 Geopbyte = 210 Bronte bytes = 1024 Bronte bytes

This is the list of all units for computer storage and their relations. One can convert one unit to another by using these relations. Larger units can also be expressed in terms of bytes.

Summary

  1. There are twelve units of computer memory – Bit, Byte, Kilobyte, Megabyte, Gigabyte, Terabyte, Petabyte, Exabyte, Zettabyte, Yottabyte, Bronte byte and Geopbyte.
  2. Binary digits or Bits are the building element of the memory unit.
  3. A Byte is the basic unit and Yottabyte is the largest unit of storage of computer memory.
  4. All these units have relations between them. One can express the file size in any of the units.

Answer yourself:

  1. How many types of storage units are there?
  2. What is the smallest and largest unit of storage in a Computer?
  3. Write the names of 7 memory units.

This is all from this article on different units for storage in Computer memory. If you still have any doubt about these units of storage, you can ask me in the comment section.

Thank you!

Related posts:

  1. Types of Memory in Computer architecture
  2. Input devices of Computer
  3. Output devices of Computer