I am working on some code to be run on a very heterogeneous cluster. The program performs interval arithmetic using 3, 4, or 5 32 bit words (unsigned ints) to represent high precision boundaries for the intervals. It seems to me that representing some words in floating point in some situations may produce a speedup. So, my question is two parts:

1) Are there any guarantees in the C11 standard as to what range of integers will be represented exactly, and what range of input pairs would have their products represented exactly? One multiplication error could entirely change the results.

2) Is this even a reasonable approach? It seems that the separation of floating point and integer processing within the processor would allow data to be running through both pipelines simultaneously, improving throughput. I don't know much about hardware though, so I'm not sure that the pipelines for integers and floating points actually are all that separate, or, if they are, if they can be used simultaneously.

I understand that the effectiveness of this sort of thing is platform dependent, but right now I am concerned about the reliability of the approach. If it is reliable, I can benchmark it and see, but I am having trouble proving reliability. Secondly, perhaps this sort of approach shows little promise, and if so I would like to know so I can focus elsewhere.

Thanks!