32-bit computing

(redirected from 32-bit computer)

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.
Linux (pronounced "lin-ucks") is a 32-bit computer operating system (OS) that is similar to the well-known UNIX OS, but is available for the desktop and offers many more benefits.
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.
The V-TEC engine also uses a powerful 32-bit computer to control combustion timing.
VXI stands for VME eXtensions for Instrumentation, an electronic plug-in platform that extends the capabilities of VME--the industry-standard 32-bit computer bus--for instrumentation applications.
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.
For a simple and easily implementable MLCG on a 32-bit computer, we suggest m = 2147483399 and a = 40692.
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.
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.
64-bit technology removes the memory limitations of 32-bit computers so allowing more efficient toolpath generation, especially for companies machining large or complex parts.