The 8087 is a math coprocessor developed by Intel and released in 1980. It was intended to work alongside the 8086 and 8088 microprocessors, which were the initial processors found in IBM’s PC line of computers.
The 8087 was designed to handle complex mathematical operations, such as those needed in scientific and engineering applications. It could perform floating-point arithmetic much faster than its predecessors (8086 or 8088 processors), which could only handle integer calculations.
The 8087 was equipped with its own instruction set and memory space, enabling it to function independently from the main processor. It communicated with this processor via special registers as well as a control bus.
The 8087 was a popular choice among computer users, as it greatly enhanced its speed and capabilities. Eventually, however, more modern and advanced math coprocessors such as the 80287 and 80387 took its place.
Overall, the 8087 was an important milestone in the evolution of computer processors and played a significant role in creating modern computers.