IA-32

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IA-32 (Intel Architecture, 32-bit), often generically called i386, x86-32 or even x86, is the instruction set architecture of Intel's most commercially successful microprocessors yet. It is a 32-bit extension of x86, first implemented in the Intel 80386, of the earlier 16-bit Intel 8086, 80186 and 80286 processors and the common denominator for all subsequent x86 designs. This architecture defines the instruction set for the family of microprocessors installed in the vast majority of personal computers in the world.

The IA-32 instruction set is usually described as a CISC architecture.

History

The IA-32 instruction set was introduced in the Intel 80386 microprocessor in 1986 and remains the basis of most PC microprocessors over twenty years later. Even though the instruction set has remained intact, the successive generations of microprocessors that run it have become much faster. Within various programming language directives, IA-32 is still sometimes referred to as the "i386" architecture.

Intel was the inventor and is the biggest supplier of IA-32 processors, but it is not the only supplier. The second biggest supplier is AMD. There are other suppliers, but their volumes are small. As of 2007, Intel is moving to x86-64, but still produces IA-32 processors such as Celeron M for laptops. VIA Technologies continues to produce the VIA C3/C7 family of "pure" IA-32 devices, and AMD still produces the Geode line and mobile IA-32 processors. For a time Transmeta produced IA-32 processors.

See also

External links

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