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Definition: 8088


The Intel CPU chip used in first-generation IBM PCs (XT class). Introduced in 1979, one year after its big brother, the 8086. Both the 8088 and 8086 were 16-bit CPUs, but the data bus in the 8088 was only 8 bits, which was the reason the chip was chosen by IBM. The 8-bit data bus made it easier to convert CP/M applications to IBM's DOS operating system. CP/M was the OS in many personal computers that were used for business in the early 1980s. See XT class, 8086, x86 and CPM.

Technical Specs
The 8086 was a 16-bit CPU with fourteen 16-bit registers and 25,000 transistors in a 40-pin CERDIP package. Its addressing mode supported only 1MB of memory and was renamed Real Mode when IBM came out with its 286 PC (see AT). See Real Mode.