Updated 08/11/2012Home » Video Glossary » BPS


In computing, bit rate (or bitrate, data rate) is the number of bits that are conveyed or processed per unit of time.

The bit rate is quantified using the bits per second (bit/s) unit, often in conjunction with an SI prefix such as kilo- (kbit/s), mega- (Mbit/s), giga- (Gbit/s) or tera- (Tbit/s). Note that, unlike many other computer-related units, 1 kbit/s is traditionally defined as 1,000 bit/s, not 1,024 bit/s, etc., also before 1999 when SI prefixes were introduced for units of information in the standard IEC 60027-2. Uppercase K as in Kbit/s should never be used.

The formal abbreviation for "bits per second" is "bit/s". In less formal contexts the abbreviations "b/s" or "bps" are sometimes used, though this risks confusion with "bytes per second" ("B/s", "Bps").

1 Byte/s (B/s) corresponds to 8 bit/s (bit/s).