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Python - right shift assignment operator

The Bitwise right shift assignment operator (>>=) assigns the first operand a value equal to the result of Bitwise right shift operation of two operands.

(x >>= y) is equivalent to (x = x >> y)

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

The example below describes how right shift operator works:

1000 >> 2 returns 250

                      (In Binary)
   1000         ->    1111101000  
   >> 2                     |  right shift the bits
   -----                    V  by 2 places
    250         <-      11111010 
                      (In Binary) 

The code of using right shift operator (>>) is given below:

x = 1000

#right shift assignment operation
x >>= 2

#Displaying the result
print("x =", x)

The output of the above code will be:

x = 250

Example: Find largest power of 2 less than or equal to given number

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:


Performing N = N | (N>>i) operation, where i = 1, 2, 4, 8, 16 will change all right side bit to 1. When applied on 1000, the result in 32 bit representation is given below:


Adding one to this result and then right shifting the result by one place will give largest power of 2 less than or equal to 1000.


The below code will calculate the largest power of 2 less than or equal to given number.

def MaxPowerOfTwo(N):
  #changing all right side bits to 1.
  N = N | (N>>1)
  N = N | (N>>2)
  N = N | (N>>4)
  N = N | (N>>8)
  N = N | (N>>16)
  #adding 1 to N makes smallest power
  #of 2 greater than given number
  N = N + 1

  #right shift by one position makes
  #largest power of 2 less than or 
  #equal to given number
  N >>= 1
  return N

print("MaxPowerOfTwo(100) =", \
print("MaxPowerOfTwo(500) =", \
print("MaxPowerOfTwo(1000) =", \

The above code will give the following output:

MaxPowerOfTwo(100) = 64
MaxPowerOfTwo(500) = 256
MaxPowerOfTwo(1000) = 512

❮ Python - Operators