There’s a significant difference between Unicode and ASCII. Unicode is far more mature than ASCII. It is also known as the superset of ASCII. Over here, you need to know that Unicode represents all the letters of major languages like Greek, Urdu, Arabic, Persian, Hindi, English, and more. Along with that, it also covers historical scripts, emoticons, and mathematical symbols.

In contrast, ASCII is limited to lowercase and uppercase letters of the English language, digits, pronunciation marks, and symbols. In electronic communication, both Unicode and ASCII are used as standard encoding schemes. The formations are utilized for the representation of text in digital and equipment and devices. There are only 128 characters in ASCII that can be encoded. 

What is Unicode? 

Unicode is used as an alternative for all the preexisting encoding systems. The Unicode is handled on its own consortium. There are characters in this language to represent letters of all the major languages of the world. The Unicode is further available in three types. 

  • UTF-8: In this type, 8 bits are used for each character. 
  • UTF – 16: 16 bits are used to represent each character in this type of Unicode. 
  • TF -32: 32 bits are used for the representation of each character in this type. 

The UTF-8 uses 128 characters of ASCII; therefore, it is completely compatible with ASCII. The Unicode is used around the globe for the internalization and localization of written text in software programs. The format is also used in programming languages like Java, XML, .Net, and more. 

What is ASCII? 

American Standard Code for Information Interchange is abbreviated as ASCII. The encoding system is used for the representation of text through numbers. The ASCII encoding system converts text into the formation of numbers. The storing of numbers is easy; for that reason, ASCII is used worldwide as a standard encoding system. In ASCII encoding system 65 number is assigned for the uppercase letter “A.” Therefore, each letter in ASCII has a number. All the characters in this system are in correspondence with numbers. Only 7 bits are used in ASCII for the representation of each character. For that reason, there are only 128 characters in the ASCII encoding system. 

Relationship of ASCII and Unicode 

There can be multiple scenarios where you have to face a challenging situation. For example, suppose you need to implement an algorithm to know that a string contains all the unique characters. However, there might be a limitation that you can use additional data structure. Then you need to probably figure out which string is used. It could be either ASCII or Unicode. If you need to deal with low storage size, then going for ASCII would be the perfect option, even if the strings are encoded in UTF-8 formation of Unicode, because it contains all the characters of American Standard Code for Information Interchange. It is because, initially, there were only 7 bits in the ASCII, but later on, it was extended to 8 characters. However, if the string is lengthy, then there is no other option except for choosing Unicode for this purpose. Therefore, Unicode is a superset of ASCII, and that’s the relationship between both the encoding schemes. 

Closing Thoughts 

The Unicode and ASCII are the most popular encoding schemes. They have been developed because a custom encoding scheme has many limitations because what may run on your local device perfectly may not be compatible with another device. For that reason, a standard form of encoding scheme is developed for the building up of textual-based data structures. The ASCII is limited to only 8 bits which can only translate 128 characters, including uppercase and lowercase letters, punctuation marks, and mathematical digits of 0 to 9. In comparison, Unicode can encode all the letters of different languages. In addition, it can incorporate historical scripts, mathematical symbols, emoticons, and more. However, the usage of both the encoding schemes is dependent on different scenarios. 

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