Bitstream

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A bitstream or bit stream is a time series of bits.

A bytestream is a series of bytes, typically of 8 bits each, and can be regarded as a special case of a bitstream.

Bitstreams are used extensively in telecommunications and computing: for example, the SDH communications technology transports synchronous bitstreams, and the TCP communications protocol transports a bytestream without synchronous timing.

When a bitstream is captured and stored in a computer storage medium, a computer file is created.

The term bitstream is frequently used to describe the configuration data to be loaded into a field programmable gate array (FPGA). This usage may have originated based on the common method of configuring the FPGA from a serial bit stream, typically from a serial PROM or flash memory chip, although most FPGAs also support a byte-parallel loading method as well. The detailed format of the bitstream for a particular FPGA chip is usually considered proprietary to the FPGA vendor.

In mathematics, several specific infinite sequences of bits have been studied for their mathematical properties; these include the Baum–Sweet sequence, Ehrenfeucht–Mycielski sequence, Fibonacci word, Kolakoski sequence, regular paperfolding sequence, Rudin–Shapiro sequence, and Thue–Morse sequence.

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