bits per pixel
(bpp) The number of bits of information stored per pixel of an image or displayed by a graphics adapter. The more bits there are, the more colours can be represented, but the more memory is required to store or display the image.
A colour can be described by the intensities of red, green and blue (RGB) components. Allowing 8 bits (1 byte) per component (24 bits per pixel) gives 256 levels for each component and over 16 million different colours – more than the human eye can distinguish. Microsoft Windows [and others?] calls this truecolour. An image of 1024×768 with 24 bpp requires over 2 MB of memory.
“High colour” uses 16 bpp (or 15 bpp), 5 bits for blue, 5 bits for red and 6 bits for green. This reduced colour precision gives a slight loss of image quality at a 1/3 saving on memory.
Standard VGA uses a palette of 16 colours (4 bpp), each colour in the palette is 24 bit. Standard SVGA uses a palette of 256 colours (8 bpp).
Some graphics hardware and software support 32-bit colour depths, including an 8-bit “alpha channel” for transparency effects.
bits per inch
bits per second
a mongrel dog. noun (Austral, informal) a mongrel dog
tiny; itty-bitty. Historical Examples Slave Narratives: A Folk History of Slavery in the United States From Interviews with Former Slaves: Volume II, Arkansas Narratives, Part 2 Work Projects Administration adj.