ZX BASIC uses the ZX Spectrum ROM routine to calculate many of the floating point math functions. Unfortunately, some of the functions are notoriously slow. Square root being one of them - there wasn't enough space in the original ROM design to do a good routine, so they cheated. They calculate x0.5 instead, and roll straight into the exponent routine. It turns out that though this works, it's exceptionally slow.
This function uses the Newton Raphson method. It produces exactly the same full floating point result (it even uses the ROM calculator), but it does it about six times faster. If you have a program that's calculating lots of square roots, this will make a big difference. However, note that integer square roots are faster still, and if you are games programming, accuracy might not be so critical. See iSqrt.bas for details.
REM Fast floating Point Square Root Function REM Adapted and modified for Boriel's ZX BASIC REM By Britlion FUNCTION FASTCALL fSqrt (radicand as FLOAT) as FLOAT ASM ; FLOAT value arrives in A ED CB ; A is the exponent. AND A ; Test for zero argument RET Z ; Return with zero. ;Strictly we should test the number for being negative and quit if it is. ;But let's assume we like imaginary numbers, hmm? ; If you'd rather break it change to a jump to an error below. ;BIT 7,E ; Test the bit. ;JR NZ,REPORT ; back to REPORT_A ; 'Invalid argument' RES 7,E ; Now it's a positive number, no matter what. call __FPSTACK_PUSH ; Okay, We put it on the calc stack. Stack contains ABS(x) ; Halve the exponent to achieve a good guess.(accurate with .25 16 64 etc.) ; Remember, A is the exponent. XOR $80 ; toggle sign of exponent SRA A ; shift right, bit 7 unchanged. INC A ; JR Z,ASIS ; forward with say .25 -> .5 JP P,ASIS ; leave increment if value > .5 DEC A ; restore to shift only. ASIS: XOR $80 ; restore sign. call __FPSTACK_PUSH ; Okay, NOW we put the guess on the stack rst 28h ; ROM CALC ;;guess,x DEFB $C3 ;;st-mem-3 DEFB $02 ;;delete SQRLOOP: DEFB $31 ;;duplicate DEFB $E3 ;;get-mem-3 DEFB $C4 ;;st-mem-4 DEFB $05 ;;div DEFB $E3 ;;get-mem-3 DEFB $0F ;;addition DEFB $A2 ;;stk-half DEFB $04 ;;multiply DEFB $C3 ;;st-mem-3 DEFB $E4 ;;get-mem-4 DEFB $03 ;;subtract DEFB $2A ;;abs DEFB $37 ;;greater-0 DEFB $00 ;;jump-true DEFB SQRLOOP - $ ;;to sqrloop DEFB $02 ;;delete DEFB $E3 ;;get-mem-3 DEFB $38 ;;end-calc sqr x. jp __FPSTACK_POP END ASM END FUNCTION