# Bitwise Operators in C

In C, bitwise operators are used to manipulate individual bits of data, often in integer types. These operators are useful in scenarios such as **low-level system programming,** optimizing code for performance, and working with hardware interfaces.

There are six bitwise operators in C:

**&:**Bitwise AND**|:**Bitwise OR**^ :**Bitwise XOR**~:**Bitwise NOT**<<:**Left shift**>>:**Right shift

## Bitwise AND (&)

The bitwise AND operator performs a logical **AND operation** on each pair of corresponding bits in two integers. It returns a value where each bit is set to 1 if and only if the corresponding bits in both operands are 1.

## Bitwise OR (|)

The bitwise OR operator performs a logical **OR operation** on each pair of corresponding bits in two integers. It returns a value where each bit is set to 1 if at least one of the corresponding bits in both operands is 1.

## Bitwise XOR (^ )

The bitwise XOR (exclusive OR) operator performs an exclusive OR operation on each pair of corresponding bits in two integers. It returns a value where each bit is set to 1 if exactly one of the corresponding bits in both operands is 1.

## Bitwise NOT (~)

The bitwise NOT operator inverts each bit of an integer, turning 1s into 0s and 0s into 1s.

## Left Shift (<<)

The left shift operator **shifts the bits of an integer to the left** by a specified number of positions. This effectively multiplies the integer by 2 raised to the power of the shift count.

## Right Shift (>>)

The right shift operator shifts the bits of an integer to the right by a specified number of positions. This effectively divides the integer by 2 raised to the power of the shift count (with truncation for integers).

Bitwise operators can be used in a variety of ways, such as:

- Manipulating low-level data structures, such as registers and memory
- Performing bit-level arithmetic
- Implementing cryptographic algorithms
- Compressing and decompressing data

### Conclusion

Bitwise operators are often used for tasks such as setting and clearing individual bits, extracting information from bit fields, and implementing **data compression algorithms.** They are also used in low-level hardware interactions and optimizing code for performance. It's important to use them with care, as improper usage can lead to unexpected behavior or bugs.

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