Hexadecimal is another way of representing large numbers. Hex is a base-16 system which uses the digits 0, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, A, B, C, D, E and F.

Converting 1-bit hex into denary is simple. The numbers 0-9 are the same, with 0=0, 1=1, 2=2 and so on. The values of the digits A-F are as follows:

A=10 B=11 C=12 D=13 E=14 F=15

Hexadecimal is most often used to simplify long binary strings so they are easier for humans to understand. This is because each digit of hex represents a chunk of 4 binary digits. Let's try converting the binary number 10011101 into hex. First, split the number into two smaller, more manageable, 4-bit chunks:

1 0 0 1 | 1 1 0 1

Take the first chunk. Using the 8421 grid we saw earlier, we can work out that 1001 in binary is equal to 9. Now take the second chunk. Using the 8421 grid again, we know that 1101 in binary is equal to 13, which in hex is D. So now we know that 10011101 in binary is equal to 9D in hex.

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