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Operator Shifting

Bitwise Left Shift Operator (<<)

Left shift operator shifts the bits of the number towards left a specified number of positions. The symbol for this operator is <<. When you write x<<n, the meaning is to shift the bits of x towards left n specified positions.

Example

If x=10, then calculate x<<2 value.

Shifting the value of x towards the left two positions will make the leftmost 2 bits to be lost. The value of x is 10. The binary representation of 10 is 00001010. The procedure to do left shift explained in the following example:

Observe the above example, after shifting the bits to the left the binary number 00001010 (in decimal 10) becomes 00101000 (in decimal 40).

Bitwise Right Shift Operator

The Right Shift Operator shifts the bits of the number towards right a specified n number of positions. Right shift operator represented by the symbol >>, read as double greater than. When you write x>>n, the meaning is to shift the bits x towards the right n specified positions.

>> shifts the bits towards the right and also preserve the sign bit, which is the leftmost bit. The leftmost bit represents the sign of the number. The sign bit 0 represents a positive number, and 1 represents a negative number. So after performing >> on a positive number, we get a positive value in the result also. When we perform >> on a negative number, again we get a negative value.

Example

If x=10, then calculate x>>2 value.

Shifting the value of x towards the right two positions will make the rightmost 2 bits to be lost. The value of x is 10. The binary representation of 10 is 00001010. The procedure to do right shift explained in the following example:

Observe the above example, after shifting the bits to the right the binary number 00001010 (in decimal 10) becomes 00000010 (in decimal 2).

Bitwise Zero Fill Right Shift Operator (>>>)

Bitwise Zero Fill Right Shift Operator shifts the bits of the number towards the right a specified n number of positions. The sign bit filled with 0's. The symbol >>> represents the Bitwise Zero Fill Right Shift Operator.

When we apply >>> on a positive number, it gives the same output as that of >>. It gives a positive number when we apply >>> on a negative number. MSB is replaced by a 0.

Observe the above example, after shifting the bits to the right the binary number 00100000 (in decimal 32) becomes 00000100 (in decimal 4). The last three bits shifted out and lost.

Difference between >> and >>> operator

Both >> and >>> are used to shift the bits towards the right. The difference is that the >> preserve the sign bit while the operator >>> does not preserve the sign bit. To preserve the sign bit, you need to add 0 in the MSB.

Example

Let's see the left and right shifting through example:

Output:

Bitwise Left Shift: x<<2 = 40
Bitwise Right Shift: x>>2 = 2
Bitwise Zero Fill Right Shift: x>>>2 = 2
Bitwise Zero Fill Right Shift: y>>>2 = 1073741821

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