*floating-point*: Designating or of a system of arithmetic, used especially in computer science, having its numbers expressed consisting of a mantissa, M, an exponent, E, and an assumed radix (base). The number represented is M * R^E where R is the radix. The radix is usually 10 or 2.

Many different representations are used for the mantissa and exponent themselves. The IEEE specify a standard representation which is used by many hardware floating-point systems.

Example: 0.0003 can be expressed as 3 × 10

^{-4}
See also:

floating-point accelerator,

floating-point unit,

normalization
Compare:

fixed-point