Excess-3 or 3-excess binary code (often abbreviated as XS-3 or X3) or Stibitz code (after George Stibitz) is a self complementary binary-coded decimal code and numeral system. It is a biased representation. Excess-3 was used on some older computers as well as in cash registers and hand-held portable electronic calculators of the 1970s, among other uses.
Biased codes are a way to represent values with a balanced number of positive and negative numbers using a pre-specified number N as a biasing value. Biased codes (and Gray codes) are nonweighted codes. In XS-3, numbers are represented as decimal digits, and each digit is represented by four bits as the digit value plus 3 (the "excess" amount):
- The smallest binary number represents the smallest value (0 − excess).
- The greatest binary number represents the largest value (2N+1 − excess − 1).
To encode a number such as 127, one simply encodes each of the decimal digits as above, giving (0100, 0101, 1010).
Excess-3 arithmetic uses different algorithms than normal non-biased BCD or binary positional system numbers. After adding two excess-3 digits, the raw sum is excess-6. For instance, after adding 1 (0100 in excess-3) and 2 (0101 in excess-3), the sum looks like 6 (1001 in excess-3) instead of 3 (0110 in excess-3). In order to correct this problem, after adding two digits, it is necessary to remove the extra bias by subtracting binary 0011 (decimal 3 in unbiased binary) if the resulting digit is less than decimal 10, or subtracting binary 1101 (decimal 13 in unbiased binary) if an overflow (carry) has occurred. (In 4-bit binary, subtracting binary 1101 is equivalent to adding 0011 and vice versa.)
The primary advantage of XS-3 coding over non-biased coding is that a decimal number can be nines' complemented (for subtraction) as easily as a binary number can be ones' complemented; just invert all bits. Also, when the sum of two XS-3 digits is greater than 9, the carry bit of a 4-bit adder will be set high. This works because, after adding two digits, an "excess" value of 6 results in the sum. Because a 4-bit integer can only hold values 0 to 15, an excess of 6 means that any sum over 9 will overflow (carry).
BCD to excess-3 converter example (VHDL code):
entity bcdxs3 is port ( a : in std_logic; b : in std_logic; c : in std_logic; d : in std_logic; an : inout std_logic; bn : inout std_logic; cn : inout std_logic; dn : inout std_logic; w : out std_logic; x : out std_logic; y : out std_logic; z : out std_logic ); end entity bcdxs3; architecture dataflow of bcdxs3 is begin an <= not a; bn <= not b; cn <= not c; dn <= not d; w <= (an and b and d ) or (a and bn and cn) or (an and b and c and dn); x <= (an and bn and d ) or (an and bn and c and dn) or (an and b and cn and dn) or (a and bn and cn and d); y <= (an and cn and dn) or (an and c and d ) or (a and bn and cn and dn); z <= (an and dn) or (a and bn and cn and dn); end architecture dataflow; -- of bcdxs3
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- Schmid, Hermann (1974). Decimal Computation (1 ed.). Binghamton, New York, USA: John Wiley & Sons, Inc. p. 11. ISBN 0-471-76180-X. Retrieved 2016-01-03.
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