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Short for floating-point unit, a specially designed chip that performs floating-point calculations. Computers equipped with an FPU perform certain types of applications much faster than computers that lack one. In particular, graphics applications are faster with an FPU.

Some microprocessors, such as the Intel 80486 and Pentium, have a built-in FPU. With other microprocessors, you can usually add an FPU by inserting the FPU chip on the motherboard.

Floating-point units are also called numeric coprocessors , math coprocessors , and floating-point processors .

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