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IEEE 854 1987 Edition, March 12, 1987
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Radix-Independent Floating-Point Arithmetic
Includes all amendments and changes through Reaffirmation Notice , March 17, 1994
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Implementation Objectives

It is intended that an implementation of a floating-point system conforming to this standard can be realized entirely in software, entirely in hardware, or in any combination of software and hardware. It is the environment the programmer or user of the system sees that conforms or fails to conform to this standard. Hardware components that require software support to conform shall not be said to conform apart from such software.


This standard specifies the following:

1) Constraints on parameters defining values of basic and extended floating-point numbers

2) Add, subtract, multiply, divide, square root, remainder and compare operations

3) Conversions between integers and floating-point numbers

4) Conversions between different floating-point precisions

5) Conversion between basic precision floating-point numbers and decimal strings

6) Floating-point exceptions and their handling, including nonnumbers (NaNs)


This standard does not specify the following:

1) Formats for internal storage of floating-point numbers

2) Encodings of integers and formats of strings of characters representing decimal numbers

3) Interpretation of the sign and significand fields of NaNs

4) Conversion between extended precision (3.2) floating-point numbers and decimal strings