The FPU 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, and mathematical calculations, are faster with an FPU.

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

Alternative terms include Math Coprocessor, Floating-Point Coprocessor, or NPU, or Numeric Processing Unit.