[Slightly OT]: More on ints and floats

Greg Ewing (using news.cis.dfn.de) ckea25d02 at sneakemail.com
Wed Apr 9 03:27:41 CEST 2003

L.C. wrote:
> I would ask a different question. What exactly would be the BENEFIT 
> of doing everything in FP ?

Simpler hardware and instruction set?

On the Burroughs 6000 series, integers were just denormalised
floats, and there was only one set of ADD, SUB etc. instructions
which would take any combination of ints, floats and doubles
and Do The Right Thing. (There were tag bits which distinguished
floats from doubles, but not ints from floats -- they were
both just "numbers".)

Not sure whether it actually made the hardware any simpler
(Burroughs hardware tended, in fact, to be insanely complicated)
but Burroughs obviously thought it was a good idea.

Greg Ewing, Computer Science Dept,
University of Canterbury,	
Christchurch, New Zealand

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