I was wondering what factors effect a machine's epsilon value. I was thinking about how modern computers can calculate expressions to higher accuracy then their predecessors, but what hardware and software factors allow for improved accuracy? Is it the implementation of better algorithms for computing various functions (examples welcome), the use of more capable hardware, or another factor I can't think of?
My go to thought is the development of better algorithms, but I can think of any that were developed post 1990.
My second thought was that the increased memory available in modern computers allows arbitrary precision arithmetic to produce more accurate results, however not all applications run with arbitrary precision and you can still run into a software "bottle neck" on the outputted precision.
What factors have the greatest effect on machine precision?