Bitwise Operators

Bitwise operators allow evaluation and manipulation of specific bits within an integer.

Bit shifting in PHP is arithmetic. Bits shifted off either end are discarded. Left shifts have zeros shifted in on the right while the sign bit is shifted out on the left, meaning the sign of an operand is not preserved. Right shifts have copies of the sign bit shifted in on the left, meaning the sign of an operand is preserved.

Use parentheses to ensure the desired precedence. For example, $a & $b == true evaluates the equivalency then the bitwise and; while ($a & $b) == true evaluates the bitwise and then the equivalency.

Be aware of data type conversions. If both the left-hand and right-hand parameters are strings, the bitwise operator will operate on the characters’ ASCII values.

Example Name Result
$a & $b And Bits that are set in both $a and $b are set.
$a | $b Or (inclusive or) Bits that are set in either $a or $b are set.
$a ^ $b Xor (exclusive or) Bits that are set in $a or $b but not both are set.
~ $a Not Bits that are set in $a are not set, and vice versa.
$a << $b Shift left Shift the bits of $a $b steps to the left (each step means “multiply by two”)
$a >> $b Shift right Shift the bits of $a $b steps to the right (each step means “divide by two”)

Example

<?php

$format = '(%1$2d = %1$04b) = (%2$2d = %2$04b)'
        . ' %3$s (%4$2d = %4$04b)' . "\n";

$values = array(0, 1, 2, 4, 8);
$test = 1 + 4;

echo "\n Bitwise AND \n";
foreach ($values as $value) {
    $result = $value & $test;
    printf($format, $result, $value, '&', $test);
}

echo "\n Bitwise Inclusive OR \n";
foreach ($values as $value) {
    $result = $value | $test;
    printf($format, $result, $value, '|', $test);
}

echo "\n Bitwise Exclusive OR (XOR) \n";
foreach ($values as $value) {
    $result = $value ^ $test;
    printf($format, $result, $value, '^', $test);
}
?>