Parity checks are commonly used in two places: computer memory and serial communications.

Computer Memory

Computer memory (RAM) consists of a series of storage chips. If the RAM is designed to support parity checking, it contains an additional chip used to store the parity bits for each byte or word of memory.

Computer memory that supports parity utilizes an additional bit which is stored in this special parity chip.

Serial Communications

There are two common configurations for serial communications.

  • Seven Data bits, 1 parity bit - the parity bit can be used for odd or even parity checking.
  • Eight Data bits, no parity (increases transmission speed at the risk of transmitting errors)

Serial communications use one of five parity settings:

  • Odd Parity
  • Even Parity
  • Space Parity
  • Mark Parity
  • No Parity (None)


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