unit of information

In computing and telecommunications, a unit of information is the capacity of some standard data storage system or communication channel, used to measure the capacities of other systems and channels. In information theory, units of information are also used to measure the information contents or entropy of random variables. The most common units are the bit, the capacity of a system which can exist in only two states, and the byte (or octet), which is equivalent to eight bits. Multiples of these units can be formed from these with the SI prefixes (power-of-ten prefixes) or the newer IEC binary prefixes (binary power prefixes). Information capacity is a dimensionless quantity, because it refers to a count of binary symbols.