16-bit computing

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16-bit computing

CPUs that process 16 bits as a single unit, compared to 8, 32 or 64. The first personal computers in the late 1970s used 8-bit CPUs but migrated to 16 bits with the IBM PC in 1981. In the mid-1980s, PCs jumped to 32 bits with the Intel 386, and the Mac debuted with the 32-bit Motorola 68000 CPU. See 8088, 386 and 68000.

The 16-bit CPUs are still used as embedded processors in myriad products that do not require the higher speed. However, over the years, a lot of design effort went into 32-bit CPUs, making them faster, more efficient, smaller and less expensive and competitive with 16-bit CPUs for numerous embedded applications. See 8-bit computing, 32-bit computing and bit specifications.

References in periodicals archive ?
The guts of the machine include a 16-bit CPU, 128KB of memory, and a 6,000-pixel LCD display.
In most cases, the XA-C3's CAN co-processor reduces CPU overhead by up to 90% in comparison to conventional CAN microcontrollers, and typically uses less than 2% of the CPU resources for message handling, leaving almost 100% of the 16-bit CPU core's resources available to run the application.
The secureAVR 8-/16-bit RISC microcontroller providing 16-bit CPU performance whilst offering state of the art security features is now available as a contactless only product, optimizing performance with smaller die size for price sensitive contactless applications.
The new MCUs combine NEC Electronics' ultra-low-power 78K0R/Kx3-L 16-bit CPU with NEC Electronics' USB 2.
XP(R) F083A Flash MCUs are designed based on the powerful Zilog eZ8(TM) CPU core -- a core architecture that rivals the performance of a 16-bit CPU core.
A 16-bit CPU interface with selectable timing modes allows direct connections to embedded system CPUs and eliminates the need for a separate device to control timing, which also reduces device count and conserves board space.
ZiLOG's new ZNEO 16-bit Flash MCU features a 16-bit CPU optimized for near single-cycle instruction execution, yielding up to 20 MIPS at 20 MHz; large zero-wait-time internal Flash and RAM to support today's demanding controller requirements; a 32-bit ALU for powerful math functionality; a 16-bit bus for high performance; and a compiler-friendly instruction set for compact code.
Built on a powerful 16-bit CPU core, the R8C/3x MCUs with on-chip flash have an extended operating voltage range of 1.
Based on ZiLOG's new ZNEO 16-bit CPU core, which itself was designed to meet the continuing demand for faster and more code-efficient microcontrollers, the ZNEO MCU targets specific markets such as high-end motor control and domestic security applications.