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Notes > Foundations of Computing > Hexadecimal Numbers

The hexadecimal number system is of base 16 i.e. it has 16 characters / symbols which are used to represent numbers. These are 0-9 and A-F (where 10 is represented by A, 11 by B and so on...)

Hexadecimal notation is more compact than binary notation and it is relatively easy to convert between binary and hexadecimal (mainly because the hexadecimal system is based upon a multiple of 2 - 24). Hexadecimal is very useful for storing large numbers.

To convert binary into hexadecimal, the bits in the binary number are to be grouped into sets of 4 and then each set is converted to its corresponding symbol in the hexadecimal system.

For example:

Convert the binary number 111010100011 to hexadecimal

    1110   1010   0011
    E      A      3
This process gives the hexadecimal number EA3

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