8-Bit Unicode Transformation Format

8-Bit Unicode Transformation Format

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8-Bit Unicode Transformation Format (UTF-8) is a widely used character encoding scheme that represents Unicode characters using 8 bits (1 byte) of storage. It is designed to be backward compatible with ASCII, allowing ASCII characters to be represented using a single byte, while other Unicode characters require multiple bytes.

Here are some key points about UTF-8:

  1. Compatibility: UTF-8 is designed to be compatible with ASCII, which means that ASCII characters (U+0000 to U+007F) are represented using their ASCII values (0 to 127) and take only one byte in UTF-8 encoding.
  2. Variable-length encoding: UTF-8 uses a variable-length encoding scheme, which means that different Unicode characters can be represented using different numbers of bytes. Commonly used characters take fewer bytes, while less frequently used or special characters take more bytes.
  3. Multilingual support: UTF-8 supports the representation of a wide range of languages and scripts, including Latin, Cyrillic, Chinese, Japanese, Korean, and many others. It can represent the entire Unicode character set, which includes over 130,000 characters.
  4. Efficiency: UTF-8 provides efficient encoding for commonly used characters found in most texts, allowing for compact storage. It strikes a balance between storage efficiency and compatibility with existing ASCII-based systems.
  5. Backward compatibility: The first 128 Unicode characters (U+0000 to U+007F) directly match the ASCII character set, making it possible to use UTF-8 encoding in systems that expect ASCII encoding without any issues.

UTF-8 has become the dominant character encoding for web content and communication protocols, as it allows for multilingual support while remaining compatible with existing systems and infrastructure. It has played a crucial role in enabling the global exchange of information and facilitating multilingual communication on the internet.

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