This method of stepping the motor energizes both phases constantly to achieve full rated torque at all positions of the motor. If a stepper motor has 200 steps, one pulse equals one step. So, 200 pulses from the NC computer results in 360 degrees of motor shaft rotation. A unipolar stepper motor driver operating in full step mode energizes a single phase. A bipolar stepper motor driver energizes both coils to make a full step. See the images below. The first image is single coil full step operation while the second is dual core full step mode.
The Half step mode energizes a single coil then two coils then one again. Alternating between energizing a single phase and both phases together gives the motor its higher resolution. A 200 step stepper motor operating in half step mode would have 400 positions, twice the normal resolution. However, the torque will vary depending on the step position because at times a single phase will be energizes while at other times both phases will be energized. Higher end drivers compensate by increasing the current through the single coil when a single coil is energized. This makes up for the loss in torque, making the half step mode very stable. See the image below.