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Coprocessors

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ALSO CALLED: Co-processors
DEFINITION: A coprocessor is a special set of circuits in a microprocessor chip that is designed to manipulate numbers or perform some other specialized function more quickly than the basic microprocessor circuits could perform the same task. A coprocessor offloads specialized processing operations, thereby reducing the burden on the basic microprocessor circuitry and allowing it to work at optimum speed. In  … 
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COPROCESSORS DEFINITION (continued): …  the early years of personal computing, the coprocessor was physically separate from the main microprocessor. Starting with the Intel Pentium and Motorola 68000 series, the coprocessor, also known as a math coprocessor, numeric coprocessor, or floating-point unit (FPU), became a physical part of the microprocessor chip. Some coprocessors are still available as separate chips or circuit cards. These are designed for specific applications such as high-end graphics, broadband signal processing, and encryption/decryption. Coprocessors of this type make it possible to customize the various models in … 
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