# What Is Hexa Decimal? Why It Is Used in Microcontrollers?

**What is Hexadecimal?** Hexadecimal numbers are used in Microcontrollers, Microprocessors, etc. The term Hexa Decimal indicates that **Hexa** – (six) plus **Decimal** (ten), i.e. Sixteen. The base 16 number system is called Hexadecimal. At the very launch of computer expansion, it was realized that people had many complexities in managing binary numbers. For this reason, a new number system using 16 different symbols was developed. It is called a hexadecimal number system and consists of the ten digits and 6 alphabets, i.e. (0, 1, 2, 3, …. 9, A, B, C, D, E, and F). In this article, we will cover why hexadecimal is used? binary to hexadecimal conversion and hexadecimal to the decimal conversion table.

## Need & Importance of Hexadecimal Number Systems

Long before, programmers commonly used a suitable method to handle large binary numbers in 4-bit groupings. It is easy to manipulate large binary numbers if we group them into small groups consisting of 4 bits per group.

For example consider you are dealing with the binary number 0011010110000111, if we group this number to 4-bit clusters like 0011 0101 1000 0111 then write the corresponding single-digit decimal value, the processing is quite easy.

Thus, 0011010110000111=3587.

## What Happens After 9?

While following the above-said method there is a discontinuity that arises after decimal 9. That is **how to write decimal corresponding to 1010?**

**Binary 1010 = Decimal 10**, it has **2 digits!** Here comes the importance of alphabets…! That is **after 9** we use the alphabets **A, B, C, D, E,** and **F** for coding. Thus it again retains single-digit up to the number 1111.

i.e 0011 0101 1000 1010 = 358A

## Decimal Binary Hexadecimal Converter Table

## Why Hexadecimal? How It Helps Microcontroller Programming

The **biggest** binary number that can be characterized by 4 binary digits is the number **1111**. It corresponds to the number **15 **in the decimal system, whereas in the hexadecimal system it can be represented by only one digit i.e ‘F’. It is the largest 1-digit number in the hexadecimal system. In 8 bit PIC microcontroller the largest number is 1111 1111 has 8 bits is at the same time the 2 digit hexadecimal number for 1111 1111 is ‘FF’. Do you see how skillfully it is used? Don’t forget that computers process 8-digit binary numbers. For the convenient use of programmers, it is easy to manipulate hexadecimal numbers rather than binary numbers. Hexadecimal numbers are represented in the **C language** by using the prefix **‘0x’**.

Eg: **0x25, 0x85** etc.

## Hexadecimal in Pic [Real Time Example]

Consider the embedded C program code,

PORTB=0x25;

0x25= 0010 0101

Then the corresponding pins of PORT B are set to logic high, we can connect LEDs for checking the status. See the image below.

## Embedded C Program to Realize Hexadecimal

void main()

{

TRISB=0x00;

while(1)

{

PORTB=0x4D;

delay_ms(1000);

PORTB=0xAF;

delay_ms(1000);

}

}

Here we are outing ** 0x4D** and

**to the**

__0xAF__**continuously with an interval of 1 second. To understand the concept of Hexadecimal in this program, please watch the following PIC simulation.**

__PORT B__## Conclusion

Hopefully, by this time, you have got a clear picture of the hexadecimal number system and why this is used in microcontrollers. Though binary is used throughout the computational system, hexadecimal still rules in this realm.

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