|Floating point precision|
|Floating point decimal precision|
In computer architecture, 32-bit integers, memory addresses, or other data units are those that are at most 32 bits (4 octets) wide. Also, 32-bit CPU and ALU architectures are those that are based on registers, address buses, or data buses of that size. 32-bit is also a term given to a generation of microcomputers in which 32-bit microprocessors are the norm.
A 32-bit register can store 232 different values. The signed range of integer values that can be stored in 32 bits is -2147483648 through 2147483647 (unsigned: 0 through 4,294,967,295). Hence, a processor with 32-bit memory addresses can directly access 4 GiB of byte-addressable memory.
The external address and data buses are often wider than 32 bits but both of these are stored and manipulated internally in the processor as 32-bit quantities. For example, the Pentium Pro processor is a 32-bit machine, but the external address bus is 36 bits wide, and the external data bus is 64 bits wide.
Prominent 32-bit instruction set architectures used in general-purpose computing include the IBM System/360 and its 32-bit successors, the DEC VAX, the NS320xx, the Motorola 68k, the Intel IA-32 32-bit version of the x86 architecture, and the 32-bit versions of the ARM, SPARC, MIPS, PowerPC and PA-RISC architectures. 32-bit instruction set architectures used for embedded computing include the 68k and ColdFire, x86, ARM, MIPS, PowerPC, and Infineon TriCore architectures.
Alternatively it may refer to 32-bit per channel rather than 24-bit colour + 8-bit alpha. 32-bit per channel images are used to represent values brighter than white; these values can then be used to more accurately retain bright highlights when either lowering the exposure of the image or when it is seen through a dark filter or dull reflection.
An example of this is the reflection seen in an oil slick; even though the reflection is only a fraction of that seen in a mirror surface, the reflection of highlights can still be seen as bright white areas, not dull grey shapes.
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