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 new MCUs combine the company's ultra-low-power 78K0R/Kx3-L 16-bit CPU with its USB 2.
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 new MCUs combine NEC Electronics' ultra-low-power 78K0R/Kx3-L 16-bit CPU with NEC Electronics' USB 2.
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.
Built on a powerful 16-bit CPU core, the R8C/3x MCUs with on-chip flash have an extended operating voltage range of 1.
Specifications: Renesas Technology R8C/20 and R8C/21 Group Microcontrollers Item R8C/20 Group R8C/21 Group Product name R5F R5F R5F R5F R5F R5F R5F R5F 21206 21207 21206 21207 21216 21217 21216 21217 JFP JFP KFP KFP JFP JFP KFP KFP CPU core 16-bit CPU core: R8C type Maximum 20MHz/ 16MHz/ 20MHz/ 16MHz/ operating 3.
The device can deliver bulk transfers at Hi-Speed and features a built-in USB transceiver, a multi-function high-speed bus interface, an independent 8-bit split bus (DMA interface) as well as a separate/multiplex selectable 16-bit CPU bus.