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Unformatted text preview: acy of the operations, viewing speed and ease of implementation as being more critical than numerical precision. All of this changed around 1985 with the advent of IEEE Standard 754, a carefully crafted standard for representing floating-point numbers and the operations performed on them. This effort started in 1976 under Intel’s sponsorship with the design of the 8087, a chip that provided floating-point support for the 8086 processor. They hired William Kahan, a professor at the University of California, Berkeley, as a consultant to help design a floating point standard for its future processors. They allowed Kahan to join forces with a committee generating an industry-wide standard under the auspices of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE). The committee ultimately adopted a standard close to the one Kahan had devised for Intel. Nowadays virtually all computers support what has become known as IEEE floating point. This has greatly improved the portability of scientific application programs across different machines. Aside: The...
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This note was uploaded on 09/02/2010 for the course ELECTRICAL 360 taught by Professor Schultz during the Spring '10 term at BYU.

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