fnv164 hash generator

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Fowler–Noll–Vo functions

The Fowler–Noll–Vo (FNV) hash functions are a family of fast, non-cryptographic hash functions that have gained popularity for their simplicity and efficiency. Developed by Glenn Fowler, Landon Curt Noll, and Phong Vo in the early 1990s, the FNV hash functions are particularly well-suited for hashing strings, making them a popular choice for applications such as hash tables, checksums, and fingerprinting.

Origins and Development

The FNV hash family originated from attempts to improve upon the then-existing hashing techniques, which often either lacked in speed or distribution, or were too complex for practical implementation. The creators of FNV sought to develop a hash function that was both fast and had good distribution characteristics, without the complexity and overhead of cryptographic hash functions.

The FNV Algorithm

The core idea behind the FNV hash functions is to iteratively multiply the current hash by a prime number, then XOR it with the byte to be added. This process is repeated for each byte in the input. The simplicity of this method results in a fast execution time while still maintaining a relatively uniform distribution of hash values, which minimizes collisions in hash tables.

There are two main variants of the FNV hash function: FNV-1 and FNV-1a. The difference between them lies in the order of the XOR and multiply steps. In FNV-1, the algorithm multiplies the hash by the FNV prime first and then XORs the result with the byte from the input. FNV-1a reverses this order, XORing first before multiplying.


The effectiveness of an FNV hash function partially depends on the choice of the FNV prime and the offset basis. These values vary depending on the bit length of the hash being produced (e.g., 32-bit, 64-bit). The selection of these parameters is critical for ensuring the hash function's dispersion and performance characteristics.


Due to its efficiency and simplicity, the FNV hash function has found its way into various applications, particularly where fast, non-cryptographic hashing is required. It is commonly used in databases, file systems, and applications that require quick lookup operations, such as in-memory caches and indexing services. Furthermore, because of its good distribution of hash values, it's also utilized in load balancers and for generating unique identifiers for data objects.


  • Speed: The FNV hash functions are designed to be fast on small inputs, making them ideal for hashing strings.
  • Simplicity: The algorithm is straightforward to implement and understand.
  • Good Hash Distribution: It tends to produce hash values that are well-distributed over the hash space, reducing the likelihood of collisions.


While the FNV hash functions offer many benefits, they are not without their limitations. They are not suitable for cryptographic purposes due to their susceptibility to hash collisions with specially crafted inputs. Additionally, while they perform well on small to medium-sized data, there may be more efficient alternatives for hashing very large datasets.


The Fowler–Noll–Vo hash functions represent a balance between speed, simplicity, and effectiveness in producing well-distributed hash values. While they are not a one-size-fits-all solution, their design makes them an excellent choice for many applications where fast, non-cryptographic hashing is needed. Their continued use in various software systems attests to their utility and effectiveness.