The word bi-endian , when said of hardware, denotes the capability of the machine to compute or pass data in either endian format. Bit numbering is a concept similar to endianness, but on a level of bits, not bytes. On a big-endian processor, its addressing unit has to be told how big the addition is going to be so that it can hop forward to the least significant byte, then count back down towards the most significant byte MSB. Consider the following C language program:. Although this little-endian property is rarely used directly by high-level programmers, it is often employed by code optimizers as well as by assembly language programmers. The ARM architecture can also produce this format when writing a bit word to an address 2 bytes from a bit word alignment.
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