ANSI Definition

The American National Standards Institute (ANSI) is a private, non-profit organization that creates standards for a wide range of technical areas, particularly for the computer industry.

It was founded in 1918 as the American Engineering Standards Committee and reorganized as the American Standards Association (ASA) in 1928. In 1969 it changed its name to American National Standards Institute. Today ANSI has more than 1,300 members, including all the large computer companies.

Standards range from electrical specifications and communications protocols to programming languages and compilers. Among the best known are ANSI C, a version of the C programming language, and FDDI (fiber distributed data interface), the main set of protocols for sending data over optical fiber cables.

ANSI has also been involved in the development of ASCII (American Standard Code for Information Interchange), the de facto standard for the character encoding used by computers and communications equipment to represent text. The first version of ASCII, called ASCII-1963, was published by the ASA in 1963.

ANSI's home page is

Created September 11, 2005.
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