Monday, March 23, 2009

Intel 8088

The Intel 8088 is an Intel x86 microprocessor based on the 8086, with 16-bit registers and an 8-bit external data bus. It can address up to 1 MB of memory. The 8088 was introduced on July 1, 1979, and was used in the original IBM PC.

The 8088 was targeted at economical systems by allowing the use of 8-bit designs. Large bus width circuit boards were still fairly expensive when it was released. The prefetch queue of the 8088 was shortened to four bytes (as opposed to the 8086's six bytes) and the prefetch algorithm slightly modified to adapt to the narrower bus.

Variants of the 8088 with more than 5 MHz maximum clock frequency include the 8088-2, which was fabricated using Intel's new enhanced nMOS process called HMOS, and specified for a maximum frequency of 8 MHz. Later followed the 80C88, a fully static CMOS design, which could operate from DC to 8 MHz. There were also several other, more or less similar, variants from other manufacturers. For instance, the NEC V20 was a pin compatible and slightly faster (at the same clock frequency) variant of the 8088, designed and manufactured by NEC.

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