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Intel's 15 Most Unforgettable x86 CPUs

8086: The First PC processor

The 8086 was the first x86 processor—Intel had already released the 4004, the 8008, the 8080 and the 8085. This 16-bit processor could manage 1 MB of memory using an external 20-bit address bus. The clock frequency chosen by IBM (4.77 MHz) was fairly low, though the processor was running at 10 MHz by the end of its career.

The first PCs used a derivative of this processor, the 8088, which had only an 8-bit (external) data bus. An interesting aside is that the control systems in the US space shuttles use 8086 processors and NASA was forced to buy some from eBay in 2002 since Intel could no longer supply them.

Code nameN/A
Date released1979
Architecture16 bits
Data bus16 bits
Address bus20 bits
Maximum memory1 MB
L1 cacheno
L2 cacheno
Clock frequency4.77-10 MHz
FSBsame as clock frequency
Fabrication process3,000 nm
Number of transistors29,000
Power consumptionN/A
Voltage5 V
Die surface area16 mm²