$NetBSD: softfloat.txt,v 1.2 2006/11/24 19:46:58 christos Exp $
SoftFloat Release 2a General Documentation
John R. Hauser
1998 December 13
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Introduction
SoftFloat is a software implementation of floating-point that conforms to
the IEC/IEEE Standard for Binary Floating-Point Arithmetic. As many as four
formats are supported: single precision, double precision, extended double
precision, and quadruple precision. All operations required by the standard
are implemented, except for conversions to and from decimal.
This document gives information about the types defined and the routines
implemented by SoftFloat. It does not attempt to define or explain the
IEC/IEEE Floating-Point Standard. Details about the standard are available
elsewhere.
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Limitations
SoftFloat is written in C and is designed to work with other C code. The
SoftFloat header files assume an ISO/ANSI-style C compiler. No attempt
has been made to accommodate compilers that are not ISO-conformant. In
particular, the distributed header files will not be acceptable to any
compiler that does not recognize function prototypes.
Support for the extended double-precision and quadruple-precision formats
depends on a C compiler that implements 64-bit integer arithmetic. If the
largest integer format supported by the C compiler is 32 bits, SoftFloat is
limited to only single and double precisions. When that is the case, all
references in this document to the extended double precision, quadruple
precision, and 64-bit integers should be ignored.
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Contents
Introduction
Limitations
Contents
Legal Notice
Types and Functions
Rounding Modes
Extended Double-Precision Rounding Precision
Exceptions and Exception Flags
Function Details
Conversion Functions
Standard Arithmetic Functions
Remainder Functions
Round-to-Integer Functions
Comparison Functions
Signaling NaN Test Functions
Raise-Exception Function
Contact Information
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Legal Notice
SoftFloat was written by John R. Hauser. This work was made possible in
part by the International Computer Science Institute, located at Suite 600,
1947 Center Street, Berkeley, California 94704. Funding was partially
provided by the National Science Foundation under grant MIP-9311980. The
original version of this code was written as part of a project to build
a fixed-point vector processor in collaboration with the University of
California at Berkeley, overseen by Profs. Nelson Morgan and John Wawrzynek.
THIS SOFTWARE IS DISTRIBUTED AS IS, FOR FREE. Although reasonable effort
has been made to avoid it, THIS SOFTWARE MAY CONTAIN FAULTS THAT WILL AT
TIMES RESULT IN INCORRECT BEHAVIOR. USE OF THIS SOFTWARE IS RESTRICTED TO
PERSONS AND ORGANIZATIONS WHO CAN AND WILL TAKE FULL RESPONSIBILITY FOR ANY
AND ALL LOSSES, COSTS, OR OTHER PROBLEMS ARISING FROM ITS USE.
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Types and Functions
When 64-bit integers are supported by the compiler, the `softfloat.h' header
file defines four types: `float32' (single precision), `float64' (double
precision), `floatx80' (extended double precision), and `float128'
(quadruple precision). The `float32' and `float64' types are defined in
terms of 32-bit and 64-bit integer types, respectively, while the `float128'
type is defined as a structure of two 64-bit integers, taking into account
the byte order of the particular machine being used. The `floatx80' type
is defined as a structure containing one 16-bit and one 64-bit integer, with
the machine's byte order again determining the order of the `high' and `low'
fields.
When 64-bit integers are _not_ supported by the compiler, the `softfloat.h'
header file defines only two types: `float32' and `float64'. Because
ISO/ANSI C guarantees at least one built-in integer type of 32 bits,
the `float32' type is identified with an appropriate integer type. The
`float64' type is defined as a structure of two 32-bit integers, with the
machine's byte order determining the order of the fields.
In either case, the types in `softfloat.h' are defined such that if a system
implements the usual C `float' and `double' types according to the IEC/IEEE
Standard, then the `float32' and `float64' types should be indistinguishable
in memory from the native `float' and `double' types. (On the other hand,
when `float32' or `float64' values are placed in processor registers by
the compiler, the type of registers used may differ from those used for the
native `float' and `double' types.)
SoftFloat implements the following arithmetic operations:
-- Conversions among all the floating-point formats, and also between
integers (32-bit and 64-bit) and any of the floating-point formats.
-- The usual add, subtract, multiply, divide, and square root operations
for all floating-point formats.
-- For each format, the floating-point remainder operation defined by the
IEC/IEEE Standard.
-- For each floating-point format, a ``round to integer'' operation that
rounds to the nearest integer value in the same format. (The floating-
point formats can hold integer values, of course.)
-- Comparisons between two values in the same floating-point format.
The only functions required by the IEC/IEEE Standard that are not provided
are conversions to and from decimal.
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Rounding Modes
All four rounding modes prescribed by the IEC/IEEE Standard are implemented
for all operations that require rounding. The rounding mode is selected
by the global variable `float_rounding_mode'. This variable may be set
to one of the values `float_round_nearest_even', `float_round_to_zero',
`float_round_down', or `float_round_up'. The rounding mode is initialized
to nearest/even.
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Extended Double-Precision Rounding Precision
For extended double precision (`floatx80') only, the rounding precision
of the standard arithmetic operations is controlled by the global variable
`floatx80_rounding_precision'. The operations affected are:
floatx80_add floatx80_sub floatx80_mul floatx80_div floatx80_sqrt
When `floatx80_rounding_precision' is set to its default value of 80, these
operations are rounded (as usual) to the full precision of the extended
double-precision format. Setting `floatx80_rounding_precision' to 32
or to 64 causes the operations listed to be rounded to reduced precision
equivalent to single precision (`float32') or to double precision
(`float64'), respectively. When rounding to reduced precision, additional
bits in the result significand beyond the rounding point are set to zero.
The consequences of setting `floatx80_rounding_precision' to a value other
than 32, 64, or 80 is not specified. Operations other than the ones listed
above are not affected by `floatx80_rounding_precision'.
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Exceptions and Exception Flags
All five exception flags required by the IEC/IEEE Standard are
implemented. Each flag is stored as a unique bit in the global variable
`float_exception_flags'. The positions of the exception flag bits within
this variable are determined by the bit masks `float_flag_inexact',
`float_flag_underflow', `float_flag_overflow', `float_flag_divbyzero', and
`float_flag_invalid'. The exception flags variable is initialized to all 0,
meaning no exceptions.
An individual exception flag can be cleared with the statement
float_exception_flags &= ~ float_flag_;
where `' is the appropriate name. To raise a floating-point
exception, the SoftFloat function `float_raise' should be used (see below).
In the terminology of the IEC/IEEE Standard, SoftFloat can detect tininess
for underflow either before or after rounding. The choice is made by
the global variable `float_detect_tininess', which can be set to either
`float_tininess_before_rounding' or `float_tininess_after_rounding'.
Detecting tininess after rounding is better because it results in fewer
spurious underflow signals. The other option is provided for compatibility
with some systems. Like most systems, SoftFloat always detects loss of
accuracy for underflow as an inexact result.
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Function Details
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Conversion Functions
All conversions among the floating-point formats are supported, as are all
conversions between a floating-point format and 32-bit and 64-bit signed
integers. The complete set of conversion functions is:
int32_to_float32 int64_to_float32
int32_to_float64 int64_to_float32
int32_to_floatx80 int64_to_floatx80
int32_to_float128 int64_to_float128
float32_to_int32 float32_to_int64
float32_to_int32 float64_to_int64
floatx80_to_int32 floatx80_to_int64
float128_to_int32 float128_to_int64
float32_to_float64 float32_to_floatx80 float32_to_float128
float64_to_float32 float64_to_floatx80 float64_to_float128
floatx80_to_float32 floatx80_to_float64 floatx80_to_float128
float128_to_float32 float128_to_float64 float128_to_floatx80
Each conversion function takes one operand of the appropriate type and
returns one result. Conversions from a smaller to a larger floating-point
format are always exact and so require no rounding. Conversions from 32-bit
integers to double precision and larger formats are also exact, and likewise
for conversions from 64-bit integers to extended double and quadruple
precisions.
Conversions from floating-point to integer raise the invalid exception if
the source value cannot be rounded to a representable integer of the desired
size (32 or 64 bits). If the floating-point operand is a NaN, the largest
positive integer is returned. Otherwise, if the conversion overflows, the
largest integer with the same sign as the operand is returned.
On conversions to integer, if the floating-point operand is not already an
integer value, the operand is rounded according to the current rounding
mode as specified by `float_rounding_mode'. Because C (and perhaps other
languages) require that conversions to integers be rounded toward zero, the
following functions are provided for improved speed and convenience:
float32_to_int32_round_to_zero float32_to_int64_round_to_zero
float64_to_int32_round_to_zero float64_to_int64_round_to_zero
floatx80_to_int32_round_to_zero floatx80_to_int64_round_to_zero
float128_to_int32_round_to_zero float128_to_int64_round_to_zero
These variant functions ignore `float_rounding_mode' and always round toward
zero.
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Standard Arithmetic Functions
The following standard arithmetic functions are provided:
float32_add float32_sub float32_mul float32_div float32_sqrt
float64_add float64_sub float64_mul float64_div float64_sqrt
floatx80_add floatx80_sub floatx80_mul floatx80_div floatx80_sqrt
float128_add float128_sub float128_mul float128_div float128_sqrt
Each function takes two operands, except for `sqrt' which takes only one.
The operands and result are all of the same type.
Rounding of the extended double-precision (`floatx80') functions is affected
by the `floatx80_rounding_precision' variable, as explained above in the
section _Extended_Double-Precision_Rounding_Precision_.
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Remainder Functions
For each format, SoftFloat implements the remainder function according to
the IEC/IEEE Standard. The remainder functions are:
float32_rem
float64_rem
floatx80_rem
float128_rem
Each remainder function takes two operands. The operands and result are all
of the same type. Given operands x and y, the remainder functions return
the value x - n*y, where n is the integer closest to x/y. If x/y is exactly
halfway between two integers, n is the even integer closest to x/y. The
remainder functions are always exact and so require no rounding.
Depending on the relative magnitudes of the operands, the remainder
functions can take considerably longer to execute than the other SoftFloat
functions. This is inherent in the remainder operation itself and is not a
flaw in the SoftFloat implementation.
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Round-to-Integer Functions
For each format, SoftFloat implements the round-to-integer function
specified by the IEC/IEEE Standard. The functions are:
float32_round_to_int
float64_round_to_int
floatx80_round_to_int
float128_round_to_int
Each function takes a single floating-point operand and returns a result of
the same type. (Note that the result is not an integer type.) The operand
is rounded to an exact integer according to the current rounding mode, and
the resulting integer value is returned in the same floating-point format.
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Comparison Functions
The following floating-point comparison functions are provided:
float32_eq float32_le float32_lt
float64_eq float64_le float64_lt
floatx80_eq floatx80_le floatx80_lt
float128_eq float128_le float128_lt
Each function takes two operands of the same type and returns a 1 or 0
representing either _true_ or _false_. The abbreviation `eq' stands for
``equal'' (=); `le' stands for ``less than or equal'' (<=); and `lt' stands
for ``less than'' (<).
The standard greater-than (>), greater-than-or-equal (>=), and not-equal
(!=) functions are easily obtained using the functions provided. The
not-equal function is just the logical complement of the equal function.
The greater-than-or-equal function is identical to the less-than-or-equal
function with the operands reversed; and the greater-than function can be
obtained from the less-than function in the same way.
The IEC/IEEE Standard specifies that the less-than-or-equal and less-than
functions raise the invalid exception if either input is any kind of NaN.
The equal functions, on the other hand, are defined not to raise the invalid
exception on quiet NaNs. For completeness, SoftFloat provides the following
additional functions:
float32_eq_signaling float32_le_quiet float32_lt_quiet
float64_eq_signaling float64_le_quiet float64_lt_quiet
floatx80_eq_signaling floatx80_le_quiet floatx80_lt_quiet
float128_eq_signaling float128_le_quiet float128_lt_quiet
The `signaling' equal functions are identical to the standard functions
except that the invalid exception is raised for any NaN input. Likewise,
the `quiet' comparison functions are identical to their counterparts except
that the invalid exception is not raised for quiet NaNs.
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Signaling NaN Test Functions
The following functions test whether a floating-point value is a signaling
NaN:
float32_is_signaling_nan
float64_is_signaling_nan
floatx80_is_signaling_nan
float128_is_signaling_nan
The functions take one operand and return 1 if the operand is a signaling
NaN and 0 otherwise.
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Raise-Exception Function
SoftFloat provides a function for raising floating-point exceptions:
float_raise
The function takes a mask indicating the set of exceptions to raise. No
result is returned. In addition to setting the specified exception flags,
this function may cause a trap or abort appropriate for the current system.
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Contact Information
At the time of this writing, the most up-to-date information about
SoftFloat and the latest release can be found at the Web page `http://
HTTP.CS.Berkeley.EDU/~jhauser/arithmetic/SoftFloat.html'.