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Definition: x86


(1) x86 primarily means definition #2 below; however, the term may also refer to 32-bits when contrasting 32-bit with 64-bit hardware for Windows PCs (see x64). See Program Files x86.

(2) The world's predominant hardware platform for laptops, desktops and servers. The x86 line was developed by Intel and includes the Core, Xeon, Pentium, Atom and original 8086 family (hence the "86"). With an even greater market share than x86, ARM is the hardware platform for mobile devices and appliances (see ARM).

AMD also manufactures x86 CPUs with brands such as Athlon, Sempron and Opteron. Although Intel and AMD are primary sources, x86 chips are also made by others. See x86 compatible, x86 chip platform and embedded system.

x86 Lineage and Branding
The x86 architecture stems from Intel's 8088 CPU in 1979, the heart of the original IBM PC in 1981. The 8088 was a slower version of the 8086, which begat the 80186, 286, 386, 486, Pentium and subsequent processor families. See 8088, Pentium, Intel Core and x64.