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Big-endian & Little-endian

 

Suppose that each unit is 8-bit in the memory, and there exists data 0x1234abcd stored from 0x00000000. Byte orders of Little-endian and Big-endian are as below:

In Little-endian mode, the most significant bits are represented in the highest order bytes, while represented in the lowest order bytes in Big-endian mode. Generally, Intel x86 uses Little-endian, while PowerPC or Motorola uses Big-endian CPU.

There is a simply way to judge which byte order is used in your PC using C++ as below:

#include "stdafx.h"
union {
	unsigned short us;
	unsigned char uc[2];
}un;

int _tmain(int argc, _TCHAR* argv[])
{
	un.us = 0x0001;
	if (un.uc[0] == 1)
	{
		cout << "Little-endian" << endl;
	}
	else if (un.uc[0] == 0)
	{
		cout << "Big-endian" << endl;
	}
	else
	{
		cout << "Undefined mode" << endl;
	}
	return 0;
}


 

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