The International Electrotechnical Commission's (IEC) prefixes for binary multiples for use in the fields of data processing and data transmission are as follows:
Factor    Name    Symbol         Origin             Derivation

210 kibi Ki kilobinary: (210)1 kilo: (103)1
220 mebi Mi megabinary: (210)2 mega: (103)2
230 gibi Gi gigabinary: (210)3 giga: (103)3
240 tebi Ti terabinary: (210)4 tera: (103)4
250 pebi Pi petabinary: (210)5 peta: (103)5
260 exbi Ei exabinary: (210)6 exa: (103)6
Examples and comparisons with SI prefixes

one kibibit = 1 Kibit = 210 bit = 1024 bit
one kilobit = 1 kbit = 103 bit = 1000 bit
one mebibyte = 1 MiB = 220 B = 1 048 576 B
one megabyte = 1 MB = 106 B = 1 000 000 B
one gibibyte = 1 GiB = 230 B = 1 073 741 824 B
one gigabyte = 1 GB = 109 B = 1 000 000 000 B

It is suggested that in English, the first syllable of the name of the binary-multiple prefix should be pronounced in the same way as the first syllable of the name of the corresponding SI prefix, and that the second syllable should be pronounced as "bee."

A while ago, the SI proposed a set of prefixes that would distinguish between powers of 1000 and 1024. The powers of 1024 got the prefixes: kibi, mebi, gibi, tebi, pebi, exbi, zebi, and yobi.

Unfortunately, these sound bloody stupid. Especially when prefixed to byte or bit, as they were likely to be. The other problem is that most people pronounce "giga" with two hard G's, so it would be very hard to tell "gibi" apart from "kibi" when pronounced.

So those prefixes were never really accepted. Which is sad, because if they didn't have such idiotic names they'd be quite useful.

I have my own proposal for metric prefixes based on 1024. The trick is to put the b in a different place, and change it to a d when necessary.

The following is a table of the base-1000 prefixes, SI base-1024 prefixes, and my base-1024 prefixes.

       1000    SI-1024 my-1024
10^3   kilo    kibi    kiblo   2^10
10^6   mega    mebi    megda   2^20
10^9   giga    gibi    gigda   2^30
10^12  tera    tebi    tebra   2^40
10^15  peta    pebi    pebta   2^50
10^18  exa     exbi    bexa    2^60
10^21  zetta   zebi    zebta   2^70
10^24  yotta   yobi    yobta   2^80
10^27  harpi   ?       harbi   2^90
10^30  grouchi ?       grodi   2^100
10^33  zeppi   ?       zedi    2^110
10^36  gummi   ?       gumbi   2^120
10^39  chici   ?       chidi   2^130

Some people will try to tell you that a "kilobyte" = 1000 bytes because they're trying to protect the purity of the Metric System.  In reality they have an ulterior motive.  You may notice that according to computer traditionalists a "kilobyte" = 1024 bytes.  This is 24 more bytes of space than the newer definition of a "kilobyte".  This loss in space is compounded as you use prefixes to indicate greater orders of magnitude.  Computer harddrive manufacturers wholly support the re-naming convention because they can advertise a smaller drive as having greater storage capacity.

There was a push by the International Electrotechnical Commission to create new prefixes to replace the old binary multiple naming convention, however this new convention has not seen widespread adoption.  When's the last time you saw a new computer with a 80 gibibyte drive?

The reality is that most people rarely use the conventional "prefix-unit" names when referring to binary capacity.  Who actually says they have an "Eighty Giga-Byte Drive?"  More frequently, people abbreviate the prefix and use it to refer to the value itself.  The word "byte" itself has no lexicographical connection to the word "bit", however it is, in fact, a group of 8 bits.  Following this history and the storage naming conventions of computer traditionalists, I propose this new naming convention for binary multiples:

Name  Value      Full 
kay   210 bytes   K
meg   220 bytes   M
gig   230 bytes   G
tera  240 bytes   T
peta  250 bytes   P
exa   260 bytes   E

You can then say that your new CPU has a 512-kay cache, or that you have 2-gigs of RAM. Computer advertisements can indicate that their new harddrive has an 80G storage capacity.

You can still follow the IEC's prefixes for binary multiples convention when referring to units in a metric context, however this model seems to best fit non-scientific, everyday modes of discussion.

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