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What is FPU?

Definition – What does FPU (Floating Point Unit) mean?

Floating Point Unit (FPU) is a processor that performs floating point calculations. While early FPU were standalone processors, now most are integrated inside a computer’s CPU. Even without a floating point unit, the central processing unit can handle both integer and floating point calculations. However, integer operations use different logic than floating point operations that makes it inefficient to use the same processor in order to handle both kinds of operations. FPU also offers the faster way to handle calculations with non-integer numbers.

Glossary Web explains FPU (Floating Point Unit)

A mathematical operation, such as addition, multiplication, or division can be performed by the integer processing unit or the FPU. When the CPU receives an instruction, it automatically sends it to the matching processor. While it is possible for developers to write codes specifically for the processing unit, it is usually unnecessary. Since the integer and floating point performance can very important, most of the processor benchmarks include both kinds of operations. Typically integer calculation speed is listed as integer performance and is labeled as SPECint in SPEC benchmarks. FPU calculation speed is often listed as the floating point performance and can be measured in FLOPS.

Martin Adler

Martin Adler is a Computer Engineer and an accomplished writer with a passion for inspiring everyone with exciting technologies. He loves to explore technical terms and try to deliver something worth reading.