The term kilobyte does not appear in the dictionary of the Royal Spanish Academy (RAE) although its use is very widespread in the field of computing. It is a storage unit of information, symbolized as kB or KB, which has different equivalences depending on its use.
There are, in the same way, another series of measures established in the field of information technology that has been determined by the International System of Measurements. Among them we would highlight, for example, the megabyte, the gigabyte, the terabyte, the petabyte, the exabyte or the zettabyte.
With the application of the binary prefix definition, one kilobyte equals two bytes raised to the tenth power. On the other hand, if the definition of the International System of Units, one kilobyte equals 10 bytes cubed.
With the binary system, one kilobyte is exactly equal to 1,024 bytes. In principle it was used as an approximate measure of 1,000 bytes but, with the increase in the power of the computers, a misuse of the term stipulated by the International System of Units began to develop. Currently, kilobyte is used as a synonym for 1,000 bytes and not as equivalent to 1,024 bytes.
Specialists have proposed the term kibi, which would mean 1,024, to name the kibibyte. In this way, the kibibyte it would refer exactly to 1,024 bytes and the kilobyte would remain as a synonym for 1,000 bytes. Other units would be the mebibyte (similar to the megabyte) and the gibibyte (similar to gigabyte).
It is interesting to establish that it was in 1998 when the modification of the existing legislation up to that moment was carried out in order, in this way, to be able to function with the measures that were really adapted to reality. However, despite the changes, these new measures have been used little and specifically in a correct way.
It is common for users to make mistakes and despite the new legislation they continue to use the previous legislation of 1998 by mistake. But the serious thing about this is that this is often extrapolated to professionals in the IT sector themselves.
Those who do not hesitate to make correct use of the measures and bet on the implementation of the current regulations are the manufacturers. Among other things, because it allows them to “artificially” increase the capabilities of the devices and products of various kinds that they put on the market.
This last fact leads us to sometimes realize that a hard drive that we have purchased does not really have the capacity that it supposedly claims to have. This is simply due to the use of the measures used and the wrong conception that users of them have.
Other specialists recommended the use of the prefix K (capitalized) to distinguish the prefix of the International System of Units (that is, 10 bytes cubed). This proposal, however, was not successful since, in the case of the megabyte, both m (mB) like M (MB).