From the beginnings of digital electronic science, the synthesis of circuits carrying out arithmetic operations has been a central topic. As a matter of fact, it is an activity directly related to computer development. From then on, a well-known technical discipline was born: computer arithmetic. Traditionally, the study of arithmetic circuits has been oriented toward applications to general-purpose computers, which provide the most important applications of digital circuits. However, the electronic market share corresponding to specific systems (embedded systems) is significant. It is important to point out that the huge business volume that corresponds to general-purpose computers (personal computers, servers, main frames) is distributed among a relatively reduced number of different models. Therefore the number of designers involved in general-purpose computer development is not as big as it might seem and is much less than the number of engineers dedicated to production and sales. The case of embedded systems is different. Embedded systems are circuits designed for specific applications (special-purpose devices), so a great diversity of products exist in the market, and the design effort per fabricated unit can be a lot bigger than in the case of general-purpose computers. In consequence, the design of specific computers is an activity in which numerous engineers are involved, in all type of companies—even small ones—within numerous countries.

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