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 ?
Conventional 32-bit computer architectures cannot address memory above 4GB.
The systems are built around a single-board, 32-bit computer and multitasking OS kernel, plus network protocol stacks and file system management tools.
To date, the Calabasas-based video game publisher has been best known for marketing software for older model, 16- and 32-bit computer game consoles.
For more elaborate quality analysis of flat films, NDC's new Model 8000 floor-standing console system has a 32-bit computer and 19-in.
Results of comparisons to test castings proved favorable and the technique has been adapted to an inexpensive 32-bit computer workstation.
Developed by Ziatech in 1989 as a superset of the original STD Bus, STD 32 is a 32-bit computer standard with a small format and enormous flexibility.
First American originally deployed FAST in 2002 into a centralized database hosted on a 32-bit computer with 32 processors.
NEC has bundled Microsoft Windows NT with the PowerMate Pro150 to provide its enterprise customers with a robust, secure and technologically-advanced 32-bit computer system.
Larry Longden, Maxwell's senior director of product technology, said that the new 79C2040 EEPROM MCMs incorporate 20 1mb high speed CMOS die to yield a 20 mb module, configured as 512Kb by 40 bits, allowing them to be used on a 32-bit computer bus with 8 bits of error detection and correction (EDAC).
In August, King World purchased a 10 percent equity stake in Crystal Dynamics, a developer and distributor of the advanced 32-bit computer game software.
It appends itself to executables on IA64 Windows machines, and also affects 32-bit computers with 64-bit emulators.
The company reports that Insight software applications run on the Unisys S/Series family of high-performance 32-bit computers, utilizing the UNIX System V operating system.