Btec Level 3 Unit 2 P1

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A variable is very often described as a name for a place in the computer’s memory where you are able to store any data that you wish. The computer will automatically place these variables in different locations each time that the programme we are loading is run however the programme that we have loaded will know exactly where the computer has placed the data. We are able to do this by composing a variable to refer to it and then leave the computer the messy work of having to find out where it is actually located. For us it is much more important to be able to know exactly what type of data that we will be storing at that location. Variables however are temporary and only exist for the amount of time that they are actually necessary and will then be disposed of. In terms of size a variable is only ever as big as it is needed to be and never more. The smallest variable that someone would be able to use would be one bit and the largest is several millions of bytes. Nowadays current processors will handle data in chunks of 4 or 8 bytes (32 and 64 bit CPUs), therefore the larger the variable then the more amount of time it will take to be able to read or write it. The size of the variable will always depend on the type that is being used.…show more content…
Modern CPUs will be able to handle both integer and floating point arithmetic in hardware. Integers are a type of data that a variable can hold that are one, two, four or eight bytes in size and are usually referred to as ints. Floating point is a type of data that a variable can hold which is numbers up to eight bytes in

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