Byte Order

Processors can number the bytes within a word to make the byte with the lowest number either the leftmost or rightmost one. The convention used by a machine is its byte order. MIPS processors can operate with either big-endian byte order:

Byte #
0 1 2 3
or little-endian byte order:
Byte #
3 2 1 0
SPIM operates with both byte orders. SPIM's byte order is determined by the byte order of the underlying hardware running the simulator. On a DECstation 3100, SPIM is little-endian, while on a HP Bobcat, Sun 4 or PC/RT, SPIM is big-endian.

Ian Moor 2009-03-11