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We describe DPFPA (double precision floating point accelerator) an FPGA based coprocessor interfaced to the CPU through the PCI bus; it is conceived to accelerate the evaluation of double precision floating point operations. This coprocessor is based on two double precision floating point units: a pipelined adder and a pipelined multiplier. The work is part of a global project aimed at designing and building a parallel system made up by a cluster of accelerated workstations. First estimations of performance have been obtained, using a similar board developed at Fermilab (Batavia, IL) with less recent components and working at half the frequency with respect to DPFPA. Even in this case, a substantial acceleration with respect to the execution on Intel's CPU based motherboard was observed.