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Introduction to GNU MP

GNU MP is a portable library written in C for arbitrary precision arithmetic on integers, rational numbers, and floating-point numbers. It aims to provide the fastest possible arithmetic for all applications that need higher precision than is directly supported by the basic C types.

Many applications use just a few hundred bits of precision; but some applications may need thousands or even millions of bits. MP is designed to give good performance for both, by choosing algorithms based on the sizes of the operands, and by carefully keeping the overhead at a minimum.

The speed of MP is achieved by using fullwords as the basic arithmetic type, by using sophisticated algorithms, by including carefully optimized assembly code for the most common inner loops for many different CPUs, and by a general emphasis on speed (as opposed to simplicity or elegance).

There is carefully optimized assembly code for these CPUs: DEC Alpha, Amd 29000, HPPA 1.0 and 1.1, Intel Pentium and generic x86, Intel i960, Motorola MC68000, MC68020, MC88100, and MC88110, Motorola/IBM PowerPC, National NS32000, IBM POWER, MIPS R3000, R4000, SPARCv7, SuperSPARC, generic SPARCv8, and DEC VAX. Some optimizations also for ARM, Clipper, IBM ROMP (RT), and Pyramid AP/XP.

This version of MP is released under a more liberal license than previous versions. It is now permitted to link MP to non-free programs, as long as MP source code is provided when distributing the non-free program.

How to use this Manual

Everyone should read section MP Basics. If you need to install the library yourself, you need to read section Installing MP, too.

The rest of the manual can be used for later reference, although it is probably a good idea to glance through it.

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