What is a Binary Coded Decimal?
What is Binary Coded Decimal
Binary Coded Decimal is a form of binary representation where each denary digit is converted individually into binary, rather than the whole number being converted as a large number.
Example 1 – the number 42
Normally this number would be converted directed to binary as 00101010 as 8 bit binary.
However in binary coded decimal we would convert the number 4 to binary and the number 2 to binary, then simply concatenate(combine) the 2 numbers together
Therefore 42 in BCD binary would be 01000010
Why use BCD?
Why use Binary Coded Decimal?
Binary coded decimal has 3 main advantages
- It is easier for a human to read large binary numbers than if the number is in pure binary
- It is simpler to create hardware than only counts in decimal and uses basic calculation (e.g. digital clocks, simple handheld calculators)
- Binary coded decimal removes the problem of floating point rounding errors, which makes is very useful for handling financial transactions.