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"Parity" refers to the number of 1s in a given binary number. Odd parity means there are an odd number of 1s and even parity means that there are an even number of 1s.

Parity bits are often used as a crude means of error detection as digital data is transmitted and received.

For example,

0b11010100 has 4 1s in it, therefore, it has even parity.

Two devices exchanging data must be set to the same parity. If both are set (strapped) for odd parity, for example, then the sending device must ensure that the number of bits in each word has an odd number of 1s. Likewise, the receiving device must be set to ensure it only receives words with an odd number of 1s.

An odd parity bit is defined as a bit in the word which can be set to ensure odd parity. If the word already has an odd number of 1s, then the parity bit is not set. If the word otherwise has an even number of 1s, the parity bit is set to ensure an odd number of 1s.

The same is true for even parity settings. One way is not necessarily better than the other in theory but, in practice, should observe the convention for the system in question.

Many (if not most) devices provide a connector pin that can be strapped to define either even or odd parity.

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Q: How explain the terms even parity and odd parity Is one method bettrer than the other?
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