C++ FAQ Celebrating Twenty-One Years of the C++ FAQ!!!
(Click here for a personal note from Marshall Cline.)
Section 26:
[26.4] But, but, but what about machines where a char has more than 8 bits? Surely you're not saying a C++ byte might have more than 8 bits, are you?!?

Yep, that's right: a C++ byte might have more than 8 bits.

The C++ language guarantees a byte must always have at least 8 bits. But there are implementations of C++ that have more than 8 bits per byte.