Also found in: Dictionary, Wikipedia.


(programming, mathematics)
A number representation consisting of a mantissa, M, an exponent, E, and a radix (or "base"). The number represented is M*R^E where R is the radix.

In science and engineering, exponential notation or scientific notation uses a radix of ten so, for example, the number 93,000,000 might be written 9.3 x 10^7 (where ^7 is superscript 7).

In computer hardware, floating point numbers are usually represented with a radix of two since the mantissa and exponent are stored in binary, though many different representations could be used. The IEEE specify a standard representation which is used by many hardware floating-point systems. Non-zero numbers are normalised so that the binary point is immediately before the most significant bit of the mantissa. Since the number is non-zero, this bit must be a one so it need not be stored. A fixed "bias" is added to the exponent so that positive and negative exponents can be represented without a sign bit. Finally, extreme values of exponent (all zeros and all ones) are used to represent special numbers like zero and positive and negative infinity.

See also floating-point accelerator, floating-point unit.

Opposite: fixed-point.
References in periodicals archive ?
15+ new C2000(TM) Piccolo real-time control MCUs deliver floating-point core, new Viterbi Complex Math Unit (VCU) and control-oriented peripheral options
For more than 10 years, SHARC has dominated the floating-point digital signal processing market, delivering exceptional core and memory performance complemented by outstanding I/O throughput.
Testing the C66x DSP core separately on the fixed-point performance and the floating-point categories of the BDTI DSP Kernel Benchmarks(TM) suite yielded the highest scores in the industry for both sets of tests.
3, 2010 /PRNewswire/ -- Delivering floating-point benefits to developers using fixed-point microcontrollers (MCUs), Texas Instruments Incorporated (TI) (NYSE: TXN) today announced that its free IQmath Library now supports both the 32-bit C2000 and Stellaris MCU platforms.
30 /PRNewswire/ -- Engineers of audio, medical, industrial and emerging applications have traditionally implemented floating-point digital signal processors (DSPs) because they offer dynamic range and high precision for data accuracy and easy algorithm programmability.
For more than 10 years, SHARC has dominated the floating-point DSP market, delivering exceptional core and memory performance complemented by outstanding I/O throughput.
The new Floating-Point LogiCORE(TM) module developed in conjunction with Qinetiq, delivers tens of Giga Floating-Point Operations per Second (GFLOPS) and supports processing requirements in advanced communication and radar systems.
AccelProbe assists the automated floating-point to fixed-point conversion process by providing graphical feedback, including quantized signal-to-noise ratio and quantization histogram reports on any variable in the design.
SAN FRANCISCO, electronicaUSA, March 29 /PRNewswire/ -- - Floating-Point DSP/ARM7 Combo Enables Low Cost Acoustic Diagnosis Systems, Professional Quality Home Audio and High Quality Speakerphone
NYSE:ADI) today announced its latest SHARC(R) floating-point processor delivers almost a three-fold increase in megaflops per dollar over the nearest VLIW DSP competitor.
The echos and reverberation in most conference rooms result in sound quality that is barely acceptable, even using a $500 speakerphone, Diopsis floating-point processing throughput and 40-bit precision support adaptive echo cancellation from up to eight microphones.

Full browser ?