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6.7 Shift Operations

Shifting an integer means moving the bit values to the left or right within the bits of the data type. Shifting is defined only for integers. Here’s the way to write it:

/* Left shift.  */
5 << 2 ⇒ 20

/* Right shift.  */
5 >> 2 ⇒ 1

The left operand is the value to be shifted, and the right operand says how many bits to shift it (the shift count). The left operand is promoted (see Operand Promotions), so shifting never operates on a narrow integer type; it’s always either int or wider. The result of the shift operation has the same type as the promoted left operand.