The value of a floating point number, N, with mantissa, m, exponent, e, and sign bit, s, is given by:
The mantissa is normalized with the binary point to the right of the most significant bit so that
An n bit mantissa has the general form:
In a normalized mantissa, the bit to the left of the binary point, , is always 1. Thus, is omitted from the floating point representation and is called the hidden bit.
Note: Using the hidden bit convention, there is no floating point representation for zero.