Facebook Page Twitter Page LinkedIn Page
× C# Tutorial C# Advanced C# Resources


The Bitwise left shift operator (<<) takes the two numbers and left shift the bits of first operand by number of place specified by second operand. For example: for left shifting the bits of x by y places, the expression (x<<y) can be used. It is equivalent to multiplying x by 2y.

The below example describes how left shift operator works:

1000 << 2 returns 4000

                      (In Binary)
   1000         ->    1111101000  
   << 2                     |  left shift the bits
   -----                    V  by 2 places
   4000         <-  111110100000 
                      (In Binary) 

The code of using left shift operator (<<) is given below:

using System;

class MyProgram {
  static void Main(string[] args) {
    int x = 1000;
    int z;

    //left shift operation
    z = x << 2;

    //Displaying the result
    Console.WriteLine("z = "+ z);
  }
}

The output of the above code will be:

z = 4000

Example: Count number of 1 Bits in a positive integer

Consider an integer 1000. In the bit-wise format, it can be written as 1111101000. However, all bits are not written here. A complete representation will be 32 bit representation as given below:

00000000000000000000001111101000  

Bitwise AND operation with 1 at any bit results into 1 if the bit is 1 or 0 if the bit is 0. Performing such operation at every bit, and counting the number of 1 gives the count of 1 bits in the given positive integer. To achieve this bitwise left shift operator can be used as shown in the below example:

using System;

class MyProgram {
  static int CountOneBits(int n) {
    int mask = 1;
    int count = 0;
    
    //performing bitwise AND operation
    //at every bit of the number
    for(int i = 0; i < 32; ++i) { 
      if((mask & n) == mask) 
        count++;
      mask = mask << 1;
    }
    return count;
  }

  static void Main(string[] args) {
    Console.WriteLine("CountOneBits(1000) = "+
      CountOneBits(1000));
    Console.WriteLine("CountOneBits(1023) = "+
      CountOneBits(1023));   
  }
}

The above code will give the following output:

CountOneBits(1000) = 6
CountOneBits(1023) = 10

❮ C# - Operators