Sizes of core types

Many of Noda Time's core types are value types, and their size needs to be carefully managed when features are added or removed. The following gives an indication of what each of the value types consists of, and any possible space savings in the future.


Duration consists of:

  • int days
  • long nanoOfDay

(12 bytes)

The days field may be negative, whereas nanoOfDay is always non-negative. (So to represent a duration of -1ns, you'd use a days value of -1 and a nanoOfDay value of NodaConstants.NanosecondsPerStandardDay - 1.) While this may seem odd for a duration type, it fits in well with the layout of other types, particularly LocalDate and LocalTime.

Instant and LocalInstant

Instant and LocalInstant each simply have a Duration field:

  • Duration duration

(12 bytes)


A LocalTime only knows about the nanosecond of the day, which is represented as a long:

  • long nanoseconds

(8 bytes)

The value is always non-negative, and requires 47 bits (to represent a maximum value one less than 86,400,000,000,000).

YearMonthDay and YearMonthDayCalendar

YearMonthDay and YearMonthDayCalendar are used to split a date into year, month and day. Its representation is just a single int:

  • int value

(4 bytes)

The value is split into the three or four parts as:

  • Day: 6 bits
  • Month: 4 bits
  • Year: 15 bits
  • Calendar: 7 bits (only in YearMonthDayCalendar)

YearMonthDay is used within YearMonthCalculator code, whereas YearMonthDayCalendar is used in LocalDate and OffsetDateTime. The calendar is represented in 7 bits by assigning an ordinal to each calendar system. This approach limits Noda Time to having a maximum of 128 calendar systems (including variants such as leap year patterns, epochs and month numbering systems). However, as of August 2014 it seems unlikely that we'll ever hit that limit. Perhaps more importantly, it does mean that we can't easily allow user-provided calendar systems.

The ISO calendar system is calendar 0, making it a natural default for the type. The other components are encoded such that a 0 in the value means 1 in the component itself, so the default values of YearMonthDay and YearMonthDayCalendar are 0001-01-01 and 0001-01-01 ISO respectively.


A LocalDate is simply a YearMonthDayCalendar:

  • YearMonthDayCalendar yearMonthDayCalendar

(4 bytes)


A LocalDateTime is simply the combination of a LocalDate and a LocalTime:

  • LocalDate date
  • LocalTime time

(12 bytes)


An Offset stores the number of seconds difference between UTC and local time. This is within inclusive bounds of +/- 18 hours.

  • int seconds

(4 bytes; 17 bits used)


An OffsetDateTime is logically a LocalDateTime and an Offset, but it's stored somewhat differently, as that has shown some surprising performance benefits:

  • YearMonthDayCalendar yearMonthDayCalendar
  • long nanosecondsAndOffset

(12 bytes)

The nanosecondsAndOffset value is split into two parts as:

  • Nanosecond-of-day: 47 bits
  • Offset: 17 bits


A ZonedDateTime is an OffsetDateTime and a DateTimeZone reference:

  • OffsetDateTime offsetDateTime
  • DateTimeZone zone

(12 bytes + 1 reference)