Compute the integer absolute value (abs) without branching
int v; // we want to find the absolute value of v unsigned int r; // the result goes here int const mask = v >> sizeof(int) * CHAR_BIT - 1; r = (v + mask) ^ mask;
r = (v ^ mask) - mask;
Some CPUs don't have an integer absolute value instruction (or the compiler fails to use them). On machines where branching is expensive, the above expression can be faster than the obvious approach, r = (v < 0) ? -(unsigned)v : v, even though the number of operations is the same.