GCC’s runtime library contains a set of software floating point routines, to be used when the required operation is not available in hardware. These routines have not been significantly optimized, and software floating point performs more poorly than it could. We discuss various pitfalls in their implementation. The GNU C library, glibc, also contains software floating point routines, and those have been optimized reasonably well. We show performance numbers obtained from portions of the EEMBC benchmark running on two PowerPC systems comparing the routines from the two libraries. We discuss the incorporation of the glibc routines into GCC’s runtime library, and show how to convert other backends to use the new glibc routines.

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