Decimal Floating-Point: Algorism for Computers,
Michael F. Cowlishaw,
Proceedings of the 16th IEEE Symposium on Computer Arithmetic,
Abstract: Decimal arithmetic is the norm in human calculations, and human-centric applications must use a decimal floating-point arithmetic to achieve the same results.
Initial benchmarks indicate that some applications spend 50% to 90% of their time in decimal processing, because software decimal arithmetic suffers a 100× to 1000× performance penalty over hardware. The need for decimal floating-point in hardware is urgent.
Existing designs, however, either fail to conform to modern standards or are incompatible with the established rules of decimal arithmetic. This paper introduces a new approach to decimal floating-point which not only provides the strict results which are necessary for commercial applications but also meets the constraints and requirements of the IEEE 854 standard.
A hardware implementation of this arithmetic is in development, and it is expected that this will significantly accelerate a wide variety of applications.
Note: Softcopy is available in PDF.
Decimal floating-point justification and new combined arithmetic rules.