Appendix C

Numeric Representations



IN the digital domain, a given number may be stored and used in a number of different representations. A number may be exactly representable in one form, but not in others. How the number is represented will affect the accuracy of calculations, the memory and bus bandwidth requirements, and the speed of calculations that can be attained.

C.1 Endianness

Typically, computer memories are addressable in bytes. If a data element is larger than one byte, then a decision must be made as to how the individual bytes of the data element are to be stored in memory. Given a 32-bit (4 byte) data element with hexadecimal value 12345678h, the data can be ordered in memory in two distinctly different ways. Assuming ...

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