4.49 Types of floating-point linkage

Different types of floating-point linkage provide different benefits.

The types of floating-point linkage are:
  • Software floating-point linkage.
  • Hardware floating-point linkage.
Software floating-point linkage means that the parameters and return value for a function are passed using the ARM integer registers r0 to r3 and the stack.
Hardware floating-point linkage uses the Vector Floating-Point (VFP) coprocessor registers to pass the arguments and return value.
The benefit of using software floating-point linkage is that the resulting code can be run on a processor with or without a VFP coprocessor. It is not dependent on the presence of a VFP hardware coprocessor, and it can be used with or without a VFP coprocessor present.
The benefit of using hardware floating-point linkage is that it is more efficient than software floating-point linkage, but you must have a VFP coprocessor.
Related concepts
4.40 Compiler support for floating-point arithmetic
4.41 Default selection of hardware or software floating-point support
4.42 Example of hardware and software support differences for floating-point arithmetic
4.43 Vector Floating-Point (VFP) architectures
4.44 Limitations on hardware handling of floating-point arithmetic
4.45 Implementation of Vector Floating-Point (VFP) support code
4.46 Compiler and library support for half-precision floating-point numbers
4.47 Half-precision floating-point number format
4.48 Compiler support for floating-point computations and linkage
4.50 Compiler options for floating-point linkage and computations
Related reference
4.51 Floating-point linkage and computational requirements of compiler options
4.52 Processors and their implicit Floating-Point Units (FPUs)
Related information
Procedure Call Standard for the ARM Architecture
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