photo: Unicode and its relationship with ISO/IEC 10646 Talking about a unified coding standard, many people may have heard of Unicode. They may wonder whether Unicode is compatible with the ISO/IEC 10646 international coding standard.

Unicode is a character coding system designed by the Unicode Consortium to support the interchange, processing and display of the written texts of all major languages in the world. Members of the Unicode Consortium are mainly hardware and software vendors.

In 1991, the ISO and the Unicode Consortium decided to cooperate in defining a universal coding standard for multilingual texts. Since then, the two organizations have been working very closely to extend the ISO/IEC 10646 and Unicode, and to keep them synchronized. The ISO releases information of characters and code points in the ISO/IEC 10646, while the Unicode Consortium supplements the characters and code points with implementation algorithms and semantics information. The ISO/IEC 10646 and Unicode are code-to-code identical. Unicode can be regarded as the implementation version of the ISO/IEC 10646. Therefore, products supporting Unicode also support the ISO/IEC 10646.

Unicode 3.0 was officially released by the Unicode Consortium in February 2000. It contains 49,194 characters of different languages, in which 27,484 are East Asian (Han) ideographic characters. Unicode 3.0 is synchronized with ISO/IEC 10646-1:2000.

The latest version of the Unicode Standard is version 13.0.0 and was released in March 2020.

Information on the characters included in the ISO/IEC 10646 / the Unicode is available on the web site of the Unicode Consortium at https://www.unicode.org/charts/.