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Floating Point

Similar to scientific notation, floating point representation consists of a mantissa, an exponent and a sign bit.

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, tex2html_wrap_inline2864 , is always 1. Thus, tex2html_wrap_inline2864 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.

CS 301 Class Account
Mon Sep 13 11:15:41 ADT 1999