4 hundred quadrillonth?
ldo at geek-central.gen.new_zealand
Mon May 25 09:52:50 CEST 2009
In message <mailman.702.1243237468.8015.python-list at python.org>, Dave Angel
> Lawrence D'Oliveiro wrote:
>> Anybody remember a certain Prof William Kahan from Berkeley ...
> I remember the professor. He was responsible for large parts of the
> Intel 8087 specification, which later got mostly codified as IEEE 754.
The 8087 was poorly designed. It was stack-based, which caused all kinds of
performance problems that never really went away, though I think Intel tried
to patch over them with various SSE extensions. I believe AMD64 does have
proper floating-point registers, at last.
Apple's implementation of IEEE 754 was so rigorous that, when Motorola
introduced the 68881, which implemented a few of the "shortcuts" that Kahan
reviled in his foreword, Apple added a patch to its SANE library to restore
correct results, with the usual controversy over whether the performance
loss was worth it. If you didn't think it was, you could always use the
68881 instructions directly.
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