Dr. Ahmed G. Abo-Khalil

Electrical Engineering Department

Parity bit

A parity bit is a bit that is added to ensure that the number of bits with the value one in a set of bits is even or odd. Parity bits are used as the simplest form of error detecting code.

There are two variants of parity bits: even parity bit and odd parity bit. When using even parity, the parity bit is set to 1 if the number of ones in a given set of bits (not including the parity bit) is odd, making the number of ones in the entire set of bits (including the parity bit) even. If the number of ones in a given set of bits is already even, it is set to a 0. When using odd parity, the parity bit is set to 1 if the number of ones in a given set of bits (not including the parity bit) is even, keeping the number of ones in the entire set of bits (including the parity bit) odd. And when the number of set bits is already odd, the odd parity bit is set to 0. In other words, an even parity bit will be set to "1" if the number of 1s + 1 is even, and an odd parity bit will be set to "1" if the number of 1s +1 is odd.

Even parity is a special case of a cyclic redundancy check (CRC), where the 1-bit CRC is generated by the polynomial x+1.

If the parity bit is present but not used, it may be referred to as mark parity (when the parity bit is always 1) or space parity (the bit is always 0).

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