Friday, January 17, 2014

Multiply a number by a power of two using bit left shift

Remember the bit shift operation? << and >>? Well if we left shift a number, we are multiplying that number by a power of two. For example, 1 = 0001. If we left shift it by 1, we'll have 1 << 1 = 0010 = 2 = 1 * 2^1. If we left shift it by 2, we'll have 1 << 2 = 0100 = 4 = 1 * 2^2. Thus, the general formula is:
a << b = a * 2^b

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