ISO/IEC 646 is the name of a set of ISO standards, described as Information technology — ISO 7-bit coded character set for information interchange and developed in cooperation with ASCII at least since 1964. Since its first edition in 1967 it has specified a 7-bit character code from which several national standards are derived.
ISO/IEC 646 was also ratified by ECMA as ECMA-6. The first version of ECMA-6 had been published in 1965, based on work the ECMA's Technical Committee TC1 had carried out since December 1960.Characters in the ISO/IEC 646 Basic Character Set are invariant characters. Since that portion of ISO/IEC 646, that is the invariant character set shared by all countries, specified only those letters used in the ISO basic Latin alphabet, countries using additional letters needed to create national variants of ISO 646 to be able to use their native scripts. Since transmission and storage of 8-bit codes was not standard at the time, the national characters had to be made to fit within the constraints of 7 bits, meaning that some characters that appear in ASCII do not appear in other national variants of ISO 646.

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