Python Bit Functions for Integer Data [With Easy Explanation]

Python Bit Functions For Integer Data

Hello, readers! In this article, we will be focusing on some Python bit functions for integer data.

So, let us begin!

What are Python bit functions?

Prior to getting started with Python bit functions for integers, let us first understand the interconversion of the same.

Now, conversion of data values comes into the picture when either we are at automating some manual step or while dealing with system-level information.

While we deal with data that includes different numeric forms such as hexadecimal, numeric, octal, etc, bit functions play an important role in analyzing the bit level data of the integers.

Python provides us with the below set of bit level functions that helps us analyze the integer data wit respect to bit level information and representation:

  1. The bit_length() function
  2. The to_bytes() function
  3. The int.from_bytes() function

Understanding Python bit functions

Let us now have a look at the above-mentioned functions one by one in the upcoming section.

1. Python bit_length() function

The bit_length() function counts and returns the number of bits that will be required to have a binary representation of the passed integer data value. This function does not take the sign of the data value as well as the leading zeros into consideration.


In this example, we have initially passed data = 3 to bit_length() function. It returns the value as 2. But the actual representation of the integer value 3 in the binary form includes 2 zeros i.e. 4 bits in total (0011).

But as the function does not take the leading zeros into consideration, it only counts the non-zero positions for the same.

Further, we have passed a negative 7 i.e. (-7) to the function. But as the function ignores the sign value, it treats like any another positive integer.

data = 3
num = 9

num = -7



2. Python to_bytes() function

The int.to_bytes() function also represents the integer value as a sequence of an array of bytes.


int.to_bytes(length, byteorder, signed=False)
  1. length: It represents the length of the resultant array.
  2. byteorder: If set to ‘big’, the most significant byte is placed at the beginning of the array. If set to ‘little’, the most significant byte is found at the end of the byte array.
  3. signed: If set to True, it makes use of two’s complement to represent the integer as an array of bytes.


In this example, we have expressed the integer value 2048 as a array of bytes with length equals to 4 and with the most significant byte at the beginning of the array.

print((2048).to_bytes(4, byteorder ='big')) 



3. Python from_bytes() function

The int.from_bytes() function is completely opposite to the int.to_bytes() function.

That is, from_bytes() function takes an array of bytes as an argument along with the byteorder parameter and then returns the integer value corresponding to it.


int.from_bytes(bytes, byteorder, signed=False)


print(int.from_bytes(b'\x00\x04', byteorder ='big')) 




By this, we have come to the end of this topic. Feel free to comment below, in case you come across any question. For more such posts related to Python Programming, Stay tuned with us.

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