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Storage in C programs is made up of units called bytes. On nearly all computers, a byte consists of 8 bits, but there are a few peculiar computers (mostly “embedded controllers” for very small systems) where a byte is longer than that. This manual does not try to explain the peculiarity of those computers; we assume that a byte is 8 bits.
Every C data type is made up of a certain number of bytes; that number
is the data type’s size. See Type Size, for details. The
signed char and
unsigned char are one byte long;
use those types to operate on data byte by byte. See Signed and Unsigned Types. You can refer to a series of consecutive bytes as an
char elements; that’s what an ASCII string looks like
in memory. See String Constants.