A Tool for Unbiased Comparison between Logarithmic and Floating-point Arithmetic

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For applications requiring a large dynamic, real numbers may be represented either in floating-point, or in the logarithm number system (LNS). Which system is best for a given application is difficult to know in advance, because the cost and performance of LNS operators depend on the target accuracy in a highly non linear way. Therefore, a comparison of the pros and cons of both number systems in terms of cost, performance and overall accuracy is only relevant on a per-application basis. To make such a comparison possible, two concurrent libraries of parameterized arithmetic operators, targeting recent field-programmable gate arrays, are presented. They are unbiased in the sense that they strive to reflect the state-of-the-art for both number systems. These libraries are freely available at http://www.ens-lyon.fr/LIP/Arenaire/.

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