DN007 - Little and Big Endian
Updated: Feb 24, 2005
The terms little and big endian indicate the byte order of 16 or 32-bit words when the data is sent between communicating units or stored in a memory.
When communicating, little endian means that the LSB (Least Significant Byte) is sent first followed by the higher order bytes. In a memory, little endian means that the LSB is stored at the lowest storage address.
When communicating, big endian means that the MSB (Most Significant Byte) is sent first followed by the lower order bytes. In a memory, big endian means that the MSB is stored at the lowest storage address. Big endian is also called network byte order.
This document describes how to handle the terms little and big endian, which can cause confusion when using some communication protocols.
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