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Intel Pentium Processor data format for negative number

P: n/a
Hi Folks ,

I am trying to solve the problem of reading the numbers correctly
from a serial line into an intel pentium processor machine .

I am reading 1 byte and 2byte data both positive and negative
quantities .

Can any one tell me what are the things i should bear in mind .

I did some small c-program tests and found out that the intel
processor uses
signed 2's complement for representing negative numbers .

The data coming over the serial line is from some third party devices
..

I am assuming that the positive numbers are always in signed magitude
form ,
so no special care needs to be taken except for byte ordering . IS
this right .

Where as for negative numbers we need to know in what format the data
is coming
and convert into signed 2's complement form so that the rest of the
math or type
casting to some other types for example int or float etc will be
correct .

Is this correct .

Am i right when i said the negative numbers are only in 2's complement
form in
intel machines.

I am thinking the same applies wether it is 1 byte , 2 byte or 4 byte
quantities. IS this right .
We are running QNX OS , but i guess this problem is not related to the
OS .

Please give me some right directions , alert me to the pitfalls here .
Thanks in advance
-Subra
Nov 13 '05 #1
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5 Replies


P: n/a
> I'm sure that QNX would adopt the native hardware integer format of any
machine it runs on. I don't know of any current architecture which is
supported as a target for C compilers, which uses other than 2's complement
signed integer types. The trend was set in stone before Intel came into
the CPU business.

You could check whether the various signed integer types are all 2's
complement; it would be strange if it were not so. If you're thinking of
relying on the low order bit patterns being the same for various sized
integers, the compiler knows all it needs about that, so there's no point
in writing code at that low a level.

I don't care to guess why you might not consider unsigned integer types to
be positive.

The problem i have is in reading the data over a serial line . When
the third party vendor is sending a 2 byte data over a serial line for
a signed quantity .
He might not be sending it in a 2's complement form . In that case
when i read into a signed short i need to convert into a 2's
complement and then assign it to the signed short , only then my c -
compiler would interpret correctly .
I guess this is where i am trying to find out what i was thinking is
right or not .

best regards
-subra
Nov 13 '05 #2

P: n/a
>The problem i have is in reading the data over a serial line . When

Then the problem you have involves the data format OVER THE SERIAL
LINE. For example, one way of sending a 16-bit number over a serial
line involves sending an ASCII '-' character if the number is
negative, followed by one or more ASCII digits in whatever the
agreed-upon base is (typically decimal or hexadecimal), followed
by a terminator/separator character such as an ASCII space, comma,
or newline.
the third party vendor is sending a 2 byte data over a serial line for
a signed quantity .
He might not be sending it in a 2's complement form . In that case
Then you need to know what form he is sending it in, and that need
not have ANYTHING to do with the native hardware on either end of
the connection. And depending on how he says it, "2 byte data"
does not necessarily mean 2 BYTES ON THE SERIAL LINE. It may
simply mean "a 16-bit quantity".
when i read into a signed short i need to convert into a 2's
complement and then assign it to the signed short , only then my c -
compiler would interpret correctly .
I guess this is where i am trying to find out what i was thinking is
right or not .


Gordon L. Burditt
Nov 13 '05 #3

P: n/a
Subrahmanyam Arya wrote:
I am trying to solve the problem of reading the numbers correctly
from a serial line into an Intel Pentium processor machine.

I am reading 1 byte and 2byte data both positive and negative
quantities .

Can any one tell me what are the things that I should bear in mind.

I did some small C-program tests and found out that
the Intel processor uses 2's complement to represent integral numbers.

The data coming over the serial line is from some third party device.

I am assuming that
the positive numbers are always in signed magnitude form,
so no special care needs to be taken except for byte ordering.
Is this correct.

Where as, for negative numbers,
we need to know in what format the data is coming
and convert into signed 2's complement form
so that the rest of the math or type casting to some other types
for example int or float etc will be correct.

Is this correct?

Am I right when I said that the negative numbers
are only in 2's complement form in Intel machines.

I am thinking the same applies whether it is 1 byte, 2 byte or 4 byte
quantities. IS this right .

We are running QNX OS,
but I guess this problem is not related to the OS.

Please give me some right directions, alert me to the pitfalls here.


You are completely confused.
You got almost everything wrong.
Intel uses a *2's complement* representation
for both positive and negative signed fixed-point (integral) types.
Intel uses a *sign and magnitude* representation
for both positive and negative floating-point types.
This is true
for most other general purpose computer architectures as well.
Intel uses a *little endian* *byte ordering* --
the bytes are stored in memory in order from least to most significant.
Other processors (the PowerPC for example)
use *big endian* *byte ordering* -- the bytes are stored in memory
in reverse order from most to least significant.
Usually, you only need to consider the *byte ordering*
when transferring signed or unsigned fixed-point (integral) types
from one architecture to another.
Intel uses the standard IEEE 754 format for floating-point types.

The ANSI/ISO C standard has *no* provisions for "type casting"
a representation of either fixed-point or floating-point numbers
from one machine to an equivalent representation on another machine.
You will be obliged to write or purchase machine specific software
to implement any such conversions unless the representations
are identical on both machines.

Nov 13 '05 #4

P: n/a
"E. Robert Tisdale" <E.**************@jpl.nasa.gov> wrote in message news:<3F**************@jpl.nasa.gov>...
Subrahmanyam Arya wrote:
I am trying to solve the problem of reading the numbers correctly
from a serial line into an Intel Pentium processor machine.

I am reading 1 byte and 2byte data both positive and negative
quantities .

Can any one tell me what are the things that I should bear in mind.

I did some small C-program tests and found out that
the Intel processor uses 2's complement to represent integral numbers.

The data coming over the serial line is from some third party device.

I am assuming that
the positive numbers are always in signed magnitude form,
so no special care needs to be taken except for byte ordering.
Is this correct.

Where as, for negative numbers,
we need to know in what format the data is coming
and convert into signed 2's complement form
so that the rest of the math or type casting to some other types
for example int or float etc will be correct.

Is this correct?

Am I right when I said that the negative numbers
are only in 2's complement form in Intel machines.

I am thinking the same applies whether it is 1 byte, 2 byte or 4 byte
quantities. IS this right .

We are running QNX OS,
but I guess this problem is not related to the OS.

Please give me some right directions, alert me to the pitfalls here.
You are completely confused.


I am not sure why ? .
You got almost everything wrong.
Intel uses a *2's complement* representation
for both positive and negative signed fixed-point (integral) types.
Intel uses a *sign and magnitude* representation
for both positive and negative floating-point types.> This is true for most other general purpose computer architectures as
well.
I know that negative integers use signed 2's complement and positive
use signed
magnitude . You are telling me that positive integeers use signed 2's
complement i don't think so , i will double check on this .
Intel uses a *little endian* *byte ordering* --
the bytes are stored in memory in order from least to most significant.
Other processors (the PowerPC for example)
use *big endian* *byte ordering* -- the bytes are stored in memory
in reverse order from most to least significant.
Usually, you only need to consider the *byte ordering*
when transferring signed or unsigned fixed-point (integral) types
from one architecture to another.
Intel uses the standard IEEE 754 format for floating-point types.

I am aware of this .

The ANSI/ISO C standard has *no* provisions for "type casting"
a representation of either fixed-point or floating-point numbers
from one machine to an equivalent representation on another machine.
You will be obliged to write or purchase machine specific software
to implement any such conversions unless the representations
are identical on both machines.


I am planning to write this routines , it is not two machines , one is
a small embedded device with some microcontroller and some I/O on it ,
the other is intel -pentium processor based PC . My problem is the
analog inputs sensed by the i/o is put on the serial line by
microcontroller in bigendian format , so i have to convert into little
indian apart from that i need to see if the negative numbers are put
in signed 2's complement so that i don't have to do conversion for
this .

This is where i also think that positive integers are put in signed
magnitude form on the wire and i only need to bother about byte
ordering . Ofcourse i need to verify the fact that the intel uses
signed magnitude for positive integers .
I hope i am more clear
appreciate your thoughts
-subra
Nov 13 '05 #5

P: n/a
av***@mailcity.com (Subrahmanyam Arya) wrote:
"E. Robert Tisdale" <E.**************@jpl.nasa.gov> wrote in message news:<3F**************@jpl.nasa.gov>...
Subrahmanyam Arya wrote:
I am trying to solve the problem of reading the numbers correctly
from a serial line into an Intel Pentium processor machine.
[ Snip! ]
I am thinking the same applies whether it is 1 byte, 2 byte or 4 byte
quantities. IS this right .
You are completely confused.


I am not sure why ? .


Neither am I, but the symptoms are clear. You're completely confused on
signed and unsigned integers.
You got almost everything wrong.
Intel uses a *2's complement* representation
for both positive and negative signed fixed-point (integral) types.
Intel uses a *sign and magnitude* representation
for both positive and negative floating-point types.>


I know that negative integers use signed 2's complement and positive
use signed magnitude .


I'm sorry, but there's only one description for this sentence: you're
talking out of your arse.

_Signed_ integers use _either_ 2's complement _or_ 1's complement _or_
sign magnitude. There cannot be any difference between the positive and
negative values of a signed integer in this respect, since the
difference between those methods is _how a negative number is
represented_. Positive values are identical for all three methods.
You are telling me that positive integeers use signed 2's
complement i don't think so , i will double check on this .
No, he's telling you that _signed integers_ on an Intel machine use 2's
complement. Positive _and_ negative.
The ANSI/ISO C standard has *no* provisions for "type casting"
a representation of either fixed-point or floating-point numbers
from one machine to an equivalent representation on another machine.
You will be obliged to write or purchase machine specific software
to implement any such conversions unless the representations
are identical on both machines.


I am planning to write this routines , it is not two machines , one is
a small embedded device with some microcontroller and some I/O on it ,
the other is intel -pentium processor based PC .


So those are not two machines? What are they then, modern sculptures in
the medium of dirty silicon?
My problem is the
analog inputs sensed by the i/o is put on the serial line by
microcontroller in bigendian format , so i have to convert into little
indian
One little, two little, three little indians... sorry <g>. Perhaps a
natural typo, with yout name...
apart from that i need to see if the negative numbers are put
in signed 2's complement so that i don't have to do conversion for
this .
Have the device send a -1 and see how it does it. Do not bother with the
positive numbers, since it makes no difference to those.
This is where i also think that positive integers are put in signed
magnitude form on the wire
Look, I'll draw you a table, ok?

Value| 2's somp | 1's comp | sign magn
-----+----------+----------+-----------
0 | 00000000 | 00000000 | 00000000
(-0)| -- | 11111111 | 10000000
1 | 00000001 | 00000001 | 00000001
-1 | 11111111 | 11111110 | 10000001
2 | 00000010 | 00000010 | 00000010
-2 | 11111110 | 11111101 | 10000010
3 | 00000011 | 00000011 | 00000011
-3 | 11111101 | 11111100 | 10000011
14 | 00001110 | 00001110 | 00001110
-14 | 11110010 | 11110001 | 10001110
127 | 01111111 | 01111111 | 01111111
-127 | 10000001 | 10000000 | 11111111
-128 | 10000000 | -- | --

Note the complete lack of difference between the methods where positive
numbers are concerned.
and i only need to bother about byte
ordering .
Indeed. To figure _that_ one out, have the device send the hex number
0x1234, and see if it comes through as 0x12, 0x34 or 0x34, 0x12. Then,
to make sure that it's actually big- or little-endian, and not something
muddled in between (such devices exist, oddly enough), send a four-byte
value and check that it comes back as you expect it.
Ofcourse i need to verify the fact that the intel uses
signed magnitude for positive integers .


You will never verify that "fact", since it's not a fact, it's bollocks.

Richard
Nov 13 '05 #6

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