32-bit computing

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32-bit computing

CPUs that process 32 bits as a single unit, compared to 8, 16 or 64. Although 32-bit CPUs were used in mainframes as early as the 1960s, personal computers began to migrate from 16 to 32 bits in the 1980s. Starting with the first 32-bit 386 chips in 1985, Intel x86 CPUs were built with a 16-bit mode for compatibility with 16-bit applications (see 386).

The 32-bit mode does not result in two times as much real work getting done as in 16-bit mode, because it relates to only one aspect of internal processing. The CPU's clock speed, along with the speed, size and architecture of the disks, memory and peripheral bus all play important roles in a computer's performance (see throughput). See 64-bit computing and bit specifications.

References in periodicals archive ?
Founded in 1996, 32 Bits Online is the web's leading content creator for Linux.
VANCOUVER, British Columbia, April 7 /PRNewswire/ -- 32 Bits Online Magazine (http://www.
Under the terms of the agreement, 32 Bits Online will assume full control of Linux Applications.
Because of this, our readers will love the easily searchable features," said Ronny Ko, Editor and Publisher of 32 Bits Online Magazine.
The merger with Linux Applications further supports 32 Bits Online's intention to be the Web's biggest authoritative Linux content aggregator to its users, partners and advertisers.
Our merger with 32 Bits Online is a natural evolution for Linux Applications," said Matthew Tebbens, owner of Linux Applications.
This huge step forward, from 8 bits to 32 bits, will allow the use of smart cards in more applications, strengthening its role in information systems.
This 32 bit RISC processor has 32 Kbytes of non-volatile FLASH memory and 8 Kbytes of ROM.
The first 32 bit smart cards ever produced were demonstrated at Cartes'97, 15-17 October, on Gemplusi booth.
With this encoding, default operand size is 32 bits and default address size is 64 bits.