Meaning – The term FAT, stands for file allocation table and is known as the file system developed for hard drives that originally used 12 or 16 bits for each cluster entry into the file allocation table. It is commonly employed by the hard drive of the computer to manage the files stored on it and other files across the system as a whole.
The Fat system was also designed to prevent the excessive wear and tear of the hard drive of the computer. FAT16 was introduced in 1983 by IBM with the simultaneous releases of IBM’s personal computer AT (PC AT) and Microsoft’s MS-DOS (disk operating system) 3.0 software. In 1987 Compaq DOS 3.31 released an expansion of the original FAT16 and increased the disc sector count to 32 bits.
Example of usage – “FAT was designed to support hard drives and subdirectories. The earlier FAT12 had a cluster addresses to 12-bit values with up to 4078 clusters; it allowed up to 4084 clusters with UNIX.”