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JSS2: COMPUTER STUDIES - 1ST TERM

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Lesson 5, Topic 1
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Number Systems

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Topic Content:

• Meaning of Number System
• Types of Number Systems
• Binary-coded Decimal (BCD)
• Summary

A computer can understand only a few symbols called digits and these symbols describe different values depending on the position they hold in the number. In general, the binary number system is used in computers. However, the octal, decimal and hexadecimal systems are also used sometimes.

Numbers, alphabets, and symbols that are sent to the CPU must, first of all, be changed to binary digits before any actions can be taken by the CPU. The section of the CPU that does the conversion is called the decoder.

The number system, therefore, is the way in which digital computers handle numerical values.

Types of Number Systems:

There are various types of number systems in mathematics. The most common number system types used are:

• Binary number system (Base – 2)
• Octal number system (Base – 8)
• Decimal number system (Base – 10)
• Hexadecimal number system (Base – 16)

Binary System:

The binary numeral system is the base 2 number system. It is very important because it is used by computers for numerical calculations. Binary numbers are made up of two digits: 1 and 0. A computer contains a number of switches. Each switch is either â€˜onâ€™ or â€˜offâ€™. â€˜Onâ€™ represents â€˜1â€™, and â€˜Offâ€™ represents â€˜0â€™.

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