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Definition: 8086


Introduced in 1978, the 8086 was the Intel CPU chip that defined the base architecture of the x86 family. Although the 8086 was used in some PCs, its 8088 brother was the one chosen for the first IBM PC (see 8088). See x86.

Technical Specs
The 8086 was a 16-bit CPU with fourteen 16-bit registers and 29,000 transistors in a 40-pin CERDIP package. Its addressing mode, later called "Real Mode," addressed 1MB of memory. The 8086 data bus was 16 bits.