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Unformatted text preview: is intended to augment the reference information given in Chapter 8, "Programming with the x87 FPU." A more extensive version of this appendix is available in the application note AP-578, Software and Hardware Considerations for x87 FPU Exception Handlers for Intel Architecture Processors (Order Number 243291), which is available from Intel. 1. Microsoft Windows* 95 and Windows 3.1 (and earlier versions) operating systems use almost the same x87 FPU exception handling interface as MS-DOS. The recommendations in this appendix for a MS-DOS compatible exception handler thus apply to all three operating systems. Vol. 1 D-1 GUIDELINES FOR WRITING X87 FPU EXCEPTION HANDLERS D.1 MS-DOS COMPATIBILITY SUB-MODE FOR HANDLING X87 FPU EXCEPTIONS The first generations of IA-32 processors (starting with the Intel 8086 and 8088 processors and going through the Intel 286 and Intel386 processors) did not have an on-chip floating-point unit. Instead, floating-point capability was provided on a separate numeric coprocessor chip. The first of these numeric coprocessors was the Intel 8087, which was followed by the Intel 287 and Intel 387 numeric coprocessors. To allow the 8087 to signal floating-point exceptions to its companion 8086 or 8088, the 8087 has an output pin, INT, which it asserts when an unmasked floating-point exception occurs. The designers of the 8087 recommended that the output from this pin be routed through a programmable interrupt controller (PIC) such as the Intel 8259A to the INTR pin of the 8086 or 8088. The accompanying interrupt vector number could then be used to access the floating-point exception handler. However, the original IBM* PC design and MS-DOS operating system used a different mechanism for handling the INT output from the 8087. It connected the INT pin directly to the NMI input pin of the 8086 or 8088. The NMI interrupt handler then had to determine if the interrupt was caused by a floating-point exception or another NMI event. This mechanism is the origin of what is now called the "MS-DOS compatibility mode." The decision to use this latter floating-point exception handling mechanism came about because when the IBM PC was first designed, the 8087 was not available. When the 8087 did become available, other functions had already been assigned to the eight inputs to the PIC. One of these functions was a BIOS video interrupt, which was assigned to interrupt number 16 for the 8086 and 8088. The Intel 286 processor created the "native mode" for handling floating-point exceptions by providing a dedicated input pin (ERROR#) for receiving floating-point exception signals and a dedicated interrupt number, 16. Interrupt 16 was used to signal floating-point errors (also called math faults). It was intended that the ERROR# pin on the Intel 286 be connected to a corresponding ERROR# pin on the Intel 287 numeric coprocessor. When the Intel 287 signals a floating-point exception using this mechanism, the Intel 286...
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This note was uploaded on 10/01/2013 for the course CPE 103 taught by Professor Watlins during the Winter '11 term at Mississippi State.
- Winter '11