Since early microprocessors were designed to operate on integers, arithmetic on floating point numbers was slow, and transcendental operations such as trig or logarithms were even worse. But the co-processor greatly improved floating point speed, up to times faster. The 's architecture became part of later Intel processors, and the 's instructions are still a part of today's x86 desktop computers. I opened up an chip and took die photos with a microscope yielding the composite photo below.
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Released in , the Intel is the math coprocessor designed to accompany the bit and microprocessors. The fits into a pin dual in-line package DIP socket that provides the chip with the same addressing and data handling capabilities as the CPU it matches.
While the coprocessor can accept data from a bit bus, it also works without modification on the 8-bit bus of the , automatically adapting as necessary. Three versions of the were produced. The original chip, the basic , was designed to operate at system clock speeds up to 5 MHz and was suitable without any modifications for IBM PCs and XTs and compatible personal computers. The clever architecture also accommodates the more advanced and processors.
Because the limitations of the 3. Instead, the useful and very marketable math functions were relegated to a separate element, which was eventually produced as a commercial product, the math coprocessor two years after the release of the Intel claimed it was the most complex large-scale integrated circuit commercially manufactured at the date of release.
The "i" silk-screened onto the ceramic package indicates that Intel produced the chip instead of one of its licensed manufacturers. Complex or not, the math coprocessor could not stand on its own and needed an or processor to function. The designers retained the interfacing and control circuitry on the main processor. When the main microprocessor came across a numeric coprocessor command, the processor passed it onto the chip and told it which data to address.
After the coprocessor calculated the answer, it passed the results back to or chip for further processing or display. Omar Alvarado , Thomas J. Fellers and Michael W. Visit the Molecular Expressions Website. Photo Gallery. Silicon Zoo. Chip Shots. Screen Savers. Web Resources. Java Microscopy. Win Wallpaper. Mac Wallpaper. Custom Photos. Image Use. Contact Us. Integrated Circuit Image Gallery Intel Math Coprocessor Released in , the Intel is the math coprocessor designed to accompany the bit and microprocessors.
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8087 Numeric Data Processor
The Numeric Data Processor is a coprocessor that performs arithmetic and comparison operations on a variety of numeric data types; it also executes numerous built-in transcendental functions e. As a coprocessor to a maximum mode or , the NDP effectively extends the register and instruction sets of the host CPU and adds several new data types as well. The programmer generally does not perceive the as a separate device; instead, the computational capabilities of the CPU appear greatly expanded. These routines perform arithmetic and limited standard functions on single precision bit real numbers; an FPAL multiply executes in about 1. The accepts double precision bit operands as well as single precision numbers.