Best Algorithm for Bit Reversal

Best Algorithm for Bit Reversal

We came across a fantastic response of a question at stockoverflow that readers may like to take a look at.

Here is the question.

What is the best algorithm to achieve the following:

0010 0000 => 0000 0100

The conversion is from MSB->LSB to LSB->MSB. All bits must be reversed; that is, this is not endianness-swapping.

Please take a look at the first response in this link.

NOTE: All algorithms below are in C, but should be portable to your language of choice (just don’t look at me when they’re not as fast :)


Low Memory (32-bit int, 32-bit machine)(from here):

The answer is relevant, if you are trying to find optimal way to determine reverse complement of a nucleotide sequence represented in binary.

If you want a ‘crazy looking’ algorithm for for bit reversal, please try this -


void swapit(unsigned char *msg, int length) {

for(;length>0;length–, msg++) {

msg = ((msg * 0x0802LU & 0x22110LU)

(*msg * 0x8020LU & 0x88440LU)) *

0x10101LU » 16;




Written by M. //