Chapter 7

Floating-Point Considerations

Chapter Outline

7.1 Floating-Point Format

7.2 Representable Numbers

7.3 Special Bit Patterns and Precision in IEEE Format

7.4 Arithmetic Accuracy and Rounding

7.5 Algorithm Considerations

7.6 Numerical Stability

7.7 Summary

7.8 Exercises


In the early days of computing, floating-point arithmetic capability was found only in mainframes and supercomputers. Although many microprocessors designed in the 1980s started to have floating-point coprocessors, their floating-point arithmetic speed was extremely slow, about three orders of magnitude slower than that of mainframes and supercomputers. With advances in microprocessor technology, many microprocessors designed in the 1990s, such as Intel Pentium ...

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