We shall show in the next section how this gap can be

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Unformatted text preview: all show in the next section how this gap can be \ lled in" with the introduction of \subnormal numbers". 2 IEEE Floating Point Representation In the 1960's and 1970's, each computer manufacturer developed its own oating point system, leading to a lot of inconsistency as to how the same program behaved on di erent machines. For example, although most machines used binary oating point systems, the IBM 360/370 series, which dominated computing during this period, used a hexadecimal base, i.e. numbers were represented as m 16E . Other machines, such as HP calculators, used a decimal oating point system. Through the e orts of several computer scientists, particularly W. Kahan, a binary oating point standard was developed in the early 1980's and, most importantly, followed very carefully by the principal manufacturers of oating point chips for personal computers, namely Intel and Motorola. This standard has become known as the IEEE oating point standard since it was developed and endorsed by a working committee of the Institute for Electrical and Electronics Enginee...
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