This International Standard specifies the Universal Coded Character Set (UCS). It is applicable to the representation, transmission, interchange, processing, storage, input, and presentation of the written form of the languages
of the world as well as of additional symbols.
This International Standard
• specifies the architecture of this International Standard,
• defines terms used in this International Standard,
• describes the general structure of the UCS codespace,
• specifies the Basic Multilingual Plane (BMP) of the UCS,
• specifies supplementary planes of the UCS: the Supplementary Multilingual Plane (SMP), the Supplementary
Ideographic Plane (SIP), the Tertiary Ideographic Plane (TIP), and the Supplementary Special-purpose
• defines a set of graphic characters used in scripts and the written form of languages on a world-wide scale,
• specifies the names for the graphic characters and format characters of the BMP, SMP, SIP, TIP, SSP and
their coded representations within the UCS codespace,
• specifies the coded representations for control characters and private use characters,
• specifies three encoding forms of the UCS: UTF-8, UTF-16, and UTF-32,
• specifies seven encoding schemes of the UCS: UTF-8, UTF-16, UTF-16BE, UTF-16LE, UTF-32, UTF-32BE, and UTF-32LE,
• specifies the management of future additions to this coded character set.
The UCS is an encoding system different from that specified in ISO/IEC 2022. The method to designate UCS from ISO/IEC 2022 is specified in 12.2.
A graphic character will be assigned only one code point in the standard, located either in the BMP or in one of
the supplementary planes.