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Extended Binary Coded Decimal Interchange Code Examples

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Extended Binary Coded Decimal Interchange Code


The EBCDIC (pronounced as EB-SI-DIC) is an extended form of ASCII. As stated above, with advancement in digital technology, ASCII became insufficient to represent newly added symbols and characters. The only solution was to increase the number of bits used in ASCII from 7 to 8. This resulted in the introduction of the new code EBCIDIC.

Additional Features of EBCDIC (over ASCII)

·         EBCDIC makes use of 8 bits in its codes words. Hence the number of code words available for use is 28 (=256).
·         In this case also, we divide each combination of bits into two groups of 4 bits each.

      EBCDIC, when introduced, was just sufficient to cater the needs of digital coding during that period. At present, the requirements have increased greatly so that a new code, called as the Unicode, has been introduced, and this has become the current industry standard. It may also be noticed in this   context that newer codes can be generated by extending the encoding principles of EBCDIC; for example, Unicode was first conceived as a 16-bit code. This code can produce 216 = 65,536 code words. Later some modifications were introduced into this to conceive the present Unicode (latest version 9.0 introduced in June 2016).

Table 1.18 A few examples of EBCDIC code

First Part
(4 bits)
Second Part
(4 bits)
Letter/ Punctuation / Number concerned
0 0 0
0 0 0 1
Start of Heading
0 0 0
0 0 1 0
Start of text
0 0 0
0 0 1 1
End of text
0 0 0
0 1 0 0
End of transmission



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