Aarith’s Philosophy

Aarith is build with the following points in mind:

  • Aarith is should easy to use:
    • e.g. no functions such as u_add_32(num_a, num_b), just plain num_a + num_b

    • easily define new number formats, e.g. using bfloat16 = floating_point<8, 7, uint64_t>; (see [Burgess2019])

  • Aarith should allow for easy access to the individual bits of the stored number:
    • for the design of new hardware units (e.g., implementing arithmetic units such as the FAU Adder [Echavarria2016], see example

    • for debugging unexpected results

  • Aarith should be publicly available

Easy to use

We want Aarith to blend in with C++. That is, we want it to provide the usual operations, such as + or <<.

The following program computes the sum of 1.0 and 2.0 using 200 digits using the MPFR library.

#include <stdio.h>

#include <gmp.h>
#include <mpfr.h>

int main (void)
  unsigned int i;
  mpfr_t s, t, u;

  mpfr_init2 (t, 200);
  mpfr_set_d (t, 1.0, GMP_RNDD);
  mpfr_init2 (s, 200);
  mpfr_set_d (s, 2.0, GMP_RNDD);
  mpfr_init2 (u, 200);
  mpfr_add (s, s, u, GMP_RNDD);
  printf ("Sum is ");
  mpfr_out_str (stdout, 10, 0, s, GMP_RNDD);
  putchar ('\n');
  mpfr_clear (s);
  mpfr_clear (t);
  mpfr_clear (u);
  return 0;

The equivalent program using Aarith looks like this (the parameters for the exponent and mantissa width, i.e. E and M, need to be chosen large enough to fit a 200 digits number):

#include <aarith/float.hpp>
#include <aarith/integer.hpp>

int main()
    floating_point<E,M> x_{1.0F}, y_{2.0F};
    std::cout << "Sum is " << (x + y) << "\n";


No Surprises!

Aarith performs very little implicit type conversions. Most of the constructors are explicit. Especially, Aarith does not use typedef’s involving native data types. This is motivated by the following situation. Consider the following program:

uint8_t u8 = 42; uinteger<8> aarith_u8{u8};
std::cout << "uint8_t=" << u8
    << " (as int=" << int{u8} << ")"
    << " aarith::uinteger<8>="
    << aarith_u8 << "\n";

Running this program gives the following output:

$ ./output_example
uint8_t=* (as int=42) aarith::uinteger<8>=42

The asterisk * most likely was not was the user was expecting to see. Such a conversion is never carried out by Aarith.


Aarith is not extensively optimized for speed! There are other libraries for that. If raw speed is your goal, try MPFR and MPIR.