This timeline of binary prefixes lists events in the history of the evolution, development, and use of units of measure which are germane to the definition of the binary prefixes by the International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC) in 1998,[1] used primarily with units of information such as the bit and the byte.

Historically, computers have used many systems of internal data representation,[2] methods of operating on data elements, and data addressing. Early decimal computers included the ENIAC, UNIVAC 1, IBM 702, IBM 705, IBM 650, IBM 1400 series, and IBM 1620. Early binary addressed computers included Zuse Z3, Colossus, Whirlwind, AN/FSQ-7, IBM 701, IBM 704, IBM 709, IBM 7030, IBM 7090, IBM 7040, IBM System/360 and DEC PDP series.

Decimal systems typically had memory configured in whole decimal multiples, e.g., blocks of 100 and later 1,000. The unit abbreviation 'K' or 'k' if it was used, represented multiplication by 1,000. Binary memory had sizes of powers of two or small multiples thereof. In this context, 'K' or 'k' was sometimes used to denote multiples of 1,024 units or just the approximate size, e.g., either '64K' or '65K' for 65,536 (216).

1790s

1793

1795

1870s

1930s

1940s

1943–1944

1947

1948

1950s

1952

1955

1956

1957

1958

1959

1960s

1960

1955–1961

1961

1962

1963

1964

1965

1966

1968

1969

1970s

1970

1971

1972

1973

1974

1975

1976

1977

1978

1979

1980s

1980

Formatted Capacity SA410
Single/Double Density
SA460
Single/Double Density
Per Disk 204.8/409.6 KBytes 409.6/819.2 KBytes
Per Surface 204.8/409.6 KBytes 204.8/409.6 KBytes
Per Track 2.56/5.12 KBytes 2.56/5.12 KBytes
Sectors/Track 10 10

The same data sheet uses MByte in a decimal sense.

1981

1982

1983

Formatted Capacity Single Sided
Single/Double Density
Double Sided
Single/Double Density
Per Disk 204.8/409.6 kbytes 409.6/819.2 kbytes
Per Surface 204.8/409.6 kbytes 204.8/409.6 kbytes
Per Track 2.56/5.12 kbytes 2.56/5.12 kbytes
Sectors/Track 10 10

Shugart Associates, one of the leading FD companies used k in a decimal sense.

1984

1985

1986

1987

1988

1989

Symbol Value
K (kilo) 1,024 = 210
M (mega) 1,048,576 = 220
G (giga) 1,073,741,824 = 230

1990s

1990

1991

1993

1994

1995

1996

1997

1998

1999

2000s

2001

2002

2003

2004

2005

2006

2007

2008

  • "The rate the file is being transferred in KiB/s (kibibytes per second, where 1 kibibyte equals 1024 bytes.)"

2009

2010s

2010

2011

2012

2013

2014

2019

2020s

2020

2021

2022

References

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