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The size of the data needed depends on the application. Many times the result will be stored in a byte-sized memory location and a byte operation will suffice. Other applications may require a larger range of values and 16 or 32 bits may be needed.
Integer number ranges:
8-bit signed -128 to +127
8-bit unsigned 0 to 255
16-bit signed -32,768 to +32,767
16-bit unsigned 0 to 65,535