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The Essential Guide to Digital Signal Processing by D. Lee Fugal, Richard G. Lyons

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D. Binary Number Formats

In digital signal processing, there are many ways to represent numerical data in computing hardware. These representations, called binary number formats, each have their own advantages and shortcomings. The simpler number formats enable us to use uncomplicated hardware designs at the expense of a restricted range of number representation and susceptibility to arithmetic errors. The more elaborate number formats are somewhat difficult to implement in hardware, but they allow us to manipulate very large and very small numbers while providing immunity to many numerical precision problems associated with binary arithmetic. The number format chosen for any given application can mean the difference between processing success ...

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