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Intel microprocessors
Last modified: Thursday, June 06, 2002 

Microprocessors made by Intel Corporation form the foundation of all PCs.

Models after the 8086 are often referred to by the last three digits (for example, the 286, 386, and 486 ). Many of the microprocessors come in different varieties that run at various clock rates. The 80486 architecture, for example, supports clock rates of from 33 to 66 MHz. Because Intel discovered that it couldn't trademark its CPU numbers, it shifted to a naming scheme, starting with the Pentium processors. Intel's latest and sixth-generation chip is called the Pentium Pro.

All Intel microprocessors are backward compatible, which means that they can run programs written for a less powerful processor. The 80386, for example, can run programs written for the 8086, 8088, and 80286. The 80386 and later models, however, offer special programming features not available on previous models. Software written specifically for these processors, therefore, may not run on older microprocessors. The common architecture behind all Intel microprocessors is known as the x86 architecture.

Until the late 80s, Intel was essentially the only producer of PC microprocessors. Increasingly, however, Intel is facing competition from other manufacturers who produce "Intel-compatible " chips. These chips support the Intel instruction set and are often less expensive than Intel chips. In some cases, they also offer better performance. Two of the leading manufacturers of Intel-compatible chips are Cyrix and AMD.

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Digi-Key: Intel Microprocessors - Broad-line distributor web site features real-time stock status and pricing, online ordering, RFQ, technical support, product datasheets and photos.

For pages about Intel microprocessors . Also check out the following links!

Related Links

Intel Secrets page 
This is the unofficial "Intel Secrets" site by Robert Collins. It includes links to in-depth articles, productivity enhancements and programming tricks, Intel secrets, Intel data sheets and programming and motherboard manuals. -- 80x86 processor information 
Contains detailed technical information about x86 CPUs.

Intel Press Room
The Intel Press Room provides the latest news on Intel and its products and services.

Intel's Home Page
Offers a list of company news items and information about their products. Additionally, there are links to a software showcase, developer's area, customer support, and newsgroup forums.

Processor Families
Provides detailed technical information about all the major processor families used on PC-compatible computers. Covers every major x86 processor from the first Intel 8088 used in the original IBM PC to the latest released hot chips. This page is from "The PC Guide".

Sixth Generation (Pentium Pro / Pentium II Class) Chipsets
Describes several of Intel's sixth generation (Pentium Pro/Pentium II class) chipsets. This page is from "The PC Guide".

related categories

x86 Microprocessors

related terms

Alpha Processor




clock speed








Pentium II

Pentium microprocessor

Pentium Pro



segmented address space


virtual memory


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