x86 definition

This definition is part of our Essential Guide: Guide to managing data center costs and the IT budget
Contributor(s): Don Garmer

x86 is a generic name for the series of Intel microprocessor families that began with the 80286 microprocessor. This series has been the provider of computing for personal computers since the 80286 was introduced in 1982. x86 microprocessors include the 386DX/SX/SL family, the 486DX/SX//DX2/SL/DX4 family, and the Pentium 3 family. The x86 line replaced Intel's previous series, the 8086/8088. Adopted by IBM for its first PCs, the 8086/8088 and the continuing x86 series have made Intel the predominant force in microprocessor design and manufacture.

This was first published in April 2006

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