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Yes. Arithmetic with integers of any size can be implemented no matter what word size the processor uses. This is done by using both the integer arithmetic instructions of the processor (if any) and bit manipulation instructions.

Equal Power Processors

For example: 16-bit Intel microprocessors can run programs that use 64-bit integer arithmetic. This is done by using several 16-bit machine operations for each 64-bit operation.

As a more modern example: Pentium-1 and Pentium-4 processors can run the same programs. One (the P-4) has a faster machine cycle than the other. And one (the P-4) has more types of machine instructions than the other. If you have a C program that computes something, both processors can run it, and whatever it computes comes out the same on both (assuming appropriate compilers). The running time would be far longer on the P-1 than on the P-4, but running time is not part of the definition.

In 1952 the SWAC digital computer was programmed to find perfect numbers. A perfect number is an integer whose integer divisors sum up to the number. For example, 6 is perfect because 6 is divided by 1, 2, and 3 and 6 = 1 + 2 + 3. Other perfect numbers are 28, 496, and 8128.

After much computation SWAC found the perfect number 33550336.

Nice article about the SWAC: www.computerhistory.org


Will a modern Pentium processor find the same perfect numbers as the SWAC?