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New Approach Could Sink Floating Point Computation
07-15-2019, 07:50 PM (This post was last modified: 07-15-2019 07:51 PM by mfleming.)
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New Approach Could Sink Floating Point Computation
Don't blame me for the title of the post, that's the title of the article! Anyway, given the broad range of mathematical discussions on this forum, I thought this article would be of interest to some of the members. The article discusses Posits a proposed replacement for IEEE Std. 754 for floating point numbers and operations. Posits are the work of scientist John Gustafson.

The article itself doesn't go into great detail about Posit implementation but contains links to published work that does. The main claim to fame of Posits is that they use fewer bits, perform arithmetic operations faster, and have fewer representational problems and errors than IEEE floats. Naturally there's plenty of argument over such claims and the posted comments to the article go into some detail about them, including responses by Gustafson himself. I found the comments section a good read.

A number of organizations, such as Lawrence Livermore National Lab, are investigating Posits. The article lists several US/EU research organizations looking into the number format, and possibly using them in upcoming projects like the Square Kilometer Array.

So, if anyone is looking for a challenge for their homebrew calculator math implementation, here's a chance to do something really different!


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New Approach Could Sink Floating Point Computation - mfleming - 07-15-2019 07:50 PM

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