Introduction to XOR

The Bitwise XOR operator is denoted by ^. When an XOR gate is given with 2 inputs, the corresponding outputs will be: If two input bits are different, the output is 1. In all other cases, it is 0.

This is an introductory lesson on XOR.

Introduction

This operator is the same as the XOR gate that we studied in the digital electronics chapter, as shown below:

What is the Bitwise XOR operator?

The Bitwise XOR operator is denoted by ^. When an XOR gate is given with 2 inputs, the corresponding outputs will be:

• If two input bits are different, the output is 1.
• In all other cases, it is 0.

Example:

• `1^1` => yields to `0`
• `0^0` => yields to `0`
• `1^0` => yields to `1`
• `0^1` => yields to `1`.

So Bitwise `^` returns a `1` in each bit position for which the corresponding bits of one of the operands are 1s.

Syntax

``a^b``

XOR compares each bit of the first operand to the second operand’s corresponding bit. If both bits are `1` or both bits are `0`, the corresponding result bit is set to `0`. Otherwise, the corresponding result bit is set to `1`.

a b a ^ b
0 0 0
0 1 1
1 0 1
1 1 0

Truth table

a b a ^ b
False False False
False True True
True False True
True True False

Let’s see some Bitwise `^` operator examples in the next lesson.

Bit ManipulationData Structures and Algorithms

Gopi is an engineering leader with 12+ of experience in full-stack development—a specialist in Java technology stack. He worked for multiple startups, the European govt, and FAANG in India and Europe.

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