logical shift

Computing Dictionary

logical shift definition

programming
(Either shift left logical or shift right logical) Machine-level operations available on nearly all processors which move each bit in a word one or more bit positions in the given direction. A left shift moves the bits to more significant positions (like multiplying by two), a right shift moves them to less significant positions (like dividing by two). The comparison with multiplication and division breaks down in certain circumstances - a logical shift may discard bits that are shifted off either end of the word and does not preserve the sign of the word (positive or negative).
Logical shift is approriate when treating the word as a bit string or a sequence of bit fields, whereas arithmetic shift is appropriate when treating it as a binary number. The word to be shifted is usually stored in a register, or possibly in memory.
(1996-07-02)
The Free On-line Dictionary of Computing, © Denis Howe 2010 http://foldoc.org
Cite This Source
Explore Dictionary.com
Previous Definition: logical relation
Next Definition: logical shift left
Words Near: logical shift
More from Thesaurus.com
Synonyms and Antonyms for logical shift
More from Reference.com
Search for articles containing logical shift
More from Dictionary.com Translator
Dictionary.com Word FAQs

Dictionary.com presents 366 FAQs, incorporating some of the frequently asked questions from the past with newer queries.

Copyright © 2014 Dictionary.com, LLC. All rights reserved.
  • Please Login or Sign Up to use the Recent Searches feature
FAVORITES
RECENT

;