Computing floating-point logarithms with fixed-point operations

Abstract : Elementary functions from the mathematical library input and output floating-point numbers. However it is possible to implement them purely using integer/fixed-point arithmetic. This option was not attractive between 1985 and 2005, because mainstream processor hardware supported 64-bit floating-point, but only 32-bit integers. Besides, conversions between floating-point and integer were costly. This has changed in recent years, in particular with the generalization of native 64-bit integer support. The purpose of this article is therefore to reevaluate the relevance of computing floating-point functions in fixed-point. For this, several variants of the double-precision logarithm function are implemented and evaluated. Formulating the problem as a fixed-point one is easy after the range has been (classically) reduced. Then, 64-bit integers provide slightly more accuracy than 53-bit mantissa, which helps speed up the evaluation. Finally, multi-word arithmetic, critical for accurate implementations, is much faster in fixed-point, and natively supported by recent compilers. Novel techniques of argument reduction and rounding test are introduced in this context. Thanks to all this, a purely integer implementation of the correctly rounded double-precision logarithm outperforms the previous state of the art, with the worst-case execution time reduced by a factor 5. This work also introduces variants of the logarithm that input a floating-point number and output the result in fixed-point. These are shown to be both more accurate and more efficient than the traditional floating-point functions for some applications.
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  • HAL Id : hal-01227877, version 1

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Julien Le Maire, Nicolas Brunie, Florent de Dinechin, Jean-Michel Muller. Computing floating-point logarithms with fixed-point operations. 23rd IEEE Symposium on Computer Arithmetic, IEEE, Jul 2016, Santa Clara, United States. ⟨hal-01227877⟩

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