A Brief History of Computing

© Copyright 1996-2000, Stephen White

Last update: 28/3/2000

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Intel 8086

8086 Chips
Photo by author
Intel 8086 Processors

The 8086 chip was released by Intel on June 8, 1978, after development by a team led by Bill Pohlman. The 8086 was the first processor in the x86 line of processors which continues right up to the latest Pentium-III chips. Some of the production of the 8086 chips was subcontracted, the two examples photographed here were manufactered by Fujitsu and AMD.

Although it was the first commercially successful 16 bit processor it was too expensive to implement in early computers, so a compatible 8 bit version was developed (the 8088), which was chosen by IBM for the first IBM PC. It was this choice that resulted in the chips overwhelming success.

The 8086 itself wasn't used by IBM until the PS/2 model 25 and model 30 in 1987, although IBM clones had used it long before this.

The available clock frequencies are 4.77, 8 and 10 MHz. It has an instruction set of about 300 operations. At introduction the fastest processor was the 8 MHz version which achieved 0.8 MIPs and contained 29,000 transistors.

© Copyright 1996-2000, Stephen White My homepage - email:swhite@ox.compsoc.net