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Difference between Single Precision and Double Precision

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  • Difficulty Level : Easy
  • Last Updated : 03 Aug, 2022

According to IEEE standard, floating-point number is represented in two ways:

PrecisionBaseSignExponentSignificand
Single precision21823+1
Double precision211152+1

1. Single Precision: Single Precision is a format proposed by IEEE for the representation of floating-point numbers. It occupies 32 bits in computer memory.

 

2. Double Precision: Double Precision is also a format given by IEEE for the representation of the floating-point number. It occupies 64 bits in computer memory.

Difference between Single and Double Precision:

SINGLE PRECISIONDOUBLE PRECISION
In single precision, 32 bits are used to represent floating-point number.In double precision, 64 bits are used to represent floating-point number.
This format, also known as FP32, is suitable for calculations that won’t be adversely affected by some approximation.This format, often known as FP64, is suitable to represent values that need a wider range or more exact computations.
It uses 8 bits for exponent.It uses 11 bits for exponent.
In single precision, 23 bits are used for mantissa.In double precision, 52 bits are used for mantissa.
Bias number is 127.Bias number is 1023.
Range of numbers in single precision : 2^(-126) to 2^(+127)Range of numbers in double precision : 2^(-1022) to 2^(+1023)
This is used where precision matters less.This is used where precision matters more.
It is used for wide representation.It is used for minimization of approximation.
It is used in simple programs like games.It is used in complex programs like scientific calculator.
This is called binary32.This is called binary64.
It requires fewer resources as compared to double precision.It provides more accurate results but at the cost of greater computational power, memory space, and data transfer.
It is less expensive.The cost incurred using this format does not always justify its use for every computation .

Please refer Floating Point Representation for details.

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