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units




DESCRIPTION

   Decimal prefixes
       The SI system of units uses prefixes that indicate  powers
       of  ten.   A  kilometer  is  1000 meter, and a megawatt is
       1000000 watt.  Below the standard prefixes.

              Prefix   Name    Value
              y        yocto   10^-24 = 0.000000000000000000000001
              z        zepto   10^-21 = 0.000000000000000000001
              a        atto    10^-18 = 0.000000000000000001
              f        femto   10^-15 = 0.000000000000001
              p        pico    10^-12 = 0.000000000001
              n        nano    10^-9  = 0.000000001
              u        micro   10^-6  = 0.000001
              m        milli   10^-3  = 0.001
              c        centi   10^-2  = 0.01
              d        deci    10^-1  = 0.1
              da       deka    10^ 1  = 10
              h        hecto   10^ 2  = 100
              k        kilo    10^ 3  = 1000
              M        mega    10^ 6  = 1000000
              G        giga    10^ 9  = 1000000000
              T        tera    10^12  = 1000000000000
              P        peta    10^15  = 1000000000000000
              E        exa     10^18  = 1000000000000000000
              Z        zetta   10^21  = 1000000000000000000000
              Y        yotta   10^24  = 1000000000000000000000000

       The symbol for micro is the Greek letter mu, often written
       u  in  an  ASCII  context  where  this Greek letter is not
       available.  See also

              http://physics.nist.gov/cuu/Units/prefixes.html

   Binary prefixes
       The binary prefixes resemble the decimal ones, but have an
       additional  'i'  (and "Ki" starts with a capital 'K'). The
       names are formed by taking the first syllable of the names
       of the decimal prefix with roughly the same size, followed
       by "bi" for "binary".

              Prefix   Name   Value
              Ki       kibi   2^10 = 1024
              Mi       mebi   2^20 = 1048576
              Gi       gibi   2^30 = 1073741824
              Ti       tebi   2^40 = 1099511627776
              Pi       pebi   2^50 = 1125899906842624
              Ei       exbi   2^60 = 1152921504606846976

       See also

       computers   were   involved.   But  then  disk  technology
       changed, and disk sizes became arbitrary numbers.  After a
       period  of  uncertainty  all disk manufacturers settled on
       the standard, namely k=1000, M=1000k, G=1000M.

       The situation was messy: in the 14k4  modems,  k=1000;  in
       the  1.44MB  diskettes,  M=1024000;  etc.  In 1998 the IEC
       approved the standard that  defines  the  binary  prefixes
       given  above,  enabling people to be precise and unambigu­
       ous.

       Thus, today, MB = 1000000B and MiB = 1048576B.

       In the free  software  world  programs  are  slowly  being
       changed to conform. When the Linux kernel boots and says

              hda: 120064896 sectors (61473 MB) w/2048KiB Cache

       the MB are megabytes and the KiB are kibibytes.

Linux                       2001-12-22                   UNITS(7)
  




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