[Numpy-discussion] Does float16 exist?

Darren Dale darren.dale@cornell....
Mon Jan 7 15:07:56 CST 2008

On Monday 07 January 2008 03:53:06 pm Charles R Harris wrote:
> Hi,
> On Jan 7, 2008 1:00 PM, Darren Dale <darren.dale@cornell.edu> wrote:
> > One of my collaborators would like to use 16bit float arrays. According
> > to http://www.scipy.org/Tentative_NumPy_Tutorial, and references to
> > float16 in
> > numpy.core.numerictypes, it appears that this should be possible, but the
> > following doesnt work:
> >
> > a=arange(10, dtype='float16')
> > TypeError: data type not understood
> >
> > Can anyone offer some advice?
> Does he care about speed? I think some graphics cards might support
> float16, but any normal implementation in C would reguire software floating
> point, a new type, and you couldn't rely on the normal operators. It might
> be doable in C++ with operator overloading and templates, but doing it in C
> would be a real hassle.

He is analyzing many sets of 2D data, each array is 3450x3450 pixels. I think 
memory/space is a greater concern at the moment than speed, 24 vs 48 
megabytes. They are more concerned with processing these arrays than viewing 


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