Floating Point

As the name implies, floating point numbers are numbers that contain floating decimal points. For example, the numbers 5.5, 0.001, and -2,345.6789 are floating point numbers. Numbers that do not have decimal places are called integers.

Computers recognize real numbers that contain fractions as floating point numbers. When a calculation includes a floating point number, it is called a "floating point calculation." Older computers used to have a separate floating point unit (FPU) that handled these calculations, but now the FPU is typically built into the computer's CPU.

Definitions by TechTerms.com

The definition of Floating Point on this page is an original TechTerms.com definition. If you would like to reference this page or cite this definition, you can use the green citation links above.

The goal of TechTerms.com is to explain computer terminology in a way that is easy to understand. We strive for simplicity and accuracy with every definition we publish. If you have feedback about the Floating Point definition or would like to suggest a new technical term, please contact us.

Want to learn more tech terms? Subscribe to the daily or weekly newsletter and get featured terms and quizzes delivered to your inbox.

Sign up for the free TechTerms Newsletter

How often would you like to receive an email?

You can unsubscribe or change your frequency setting at any time using the links available in each email.

Questions? Please contact us.