two's complement

English

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Noun

two's complement (plural two's complements)

1. (computing) The number obtained by complementing every bit of a given number and adding one. A number and its complement add to 2n, where n is the word size of the machine.
The two's complement of 0xAAAA is 0x5556 on a 16-bit machine, and 0xFFFF5556 on a 32-bit machine.
2. (computing) The convention by which bit patterns with high bit 0 represent positive numbers from 0 to $2^{n-1} - 1$ directly, while bit patterns with high bit 1 represent negative numbers from -1 to $-2^{n - 1}$, n being the word size of the machine, and the numeric complement of a number is its two's complement.
Nearly all modern computers use two's complement for integer arithmetic.