Intel 80386

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Intel 80386

(Commonly abbreviated to "386", trademark "Intel386") The successor to the Intel 80286 microprocessor. It was the first Intel processor with 32-bit data and address busses. It can address four gigabytes (2^32 bytes) of memory; however, 16 megabytes is a typical maximum in IBM PCs. The 386 allows multiple application programs to run at the same time (when running under 386-specific operating systems) using "protected mode".

The first IBM compatible to use the 386 was the Compaq 386, before IBM used it in high-end models of their PS/2 series. It is also used in HP's RS series and many others.

It does not require special EMS memory boards to expand MS-DOS memory limits. With the 386, the EMS standard can be simulated in normal extended memory, and many DOS add-ons provide this "Expanded Memory Manager" feature.

See also Intel 80386SX, BSD386.
This article is provided by FOLDOC - Free Online Dictionary of Computing (
References in periodicals archive ?
I attribute most of this aversion to a disastrous introduction to Windows 3.0 on a slow 386 SX machine.
PC 8088 0.3 1 PCXT 8086 0.3 1 AT 80286 4 4 386 80386 15 35 386 SX 80386 SX 15 35 486 DX 80486 45 100 486 SX 80486 SX 45 70 Pentium Pentium 100 150
For example, a 386 SX processes 32 bits but transfers only 16 at a time.
System requirements for Beethoven's 5th, A Multimedia Symphony are: 386 SX of higher; 2MB RAM (4MB recommended); Windows 3.1; DOS 3.3 or higher, VGA (or better) graphics card and monitor; mouse or other Windows pointing device; Windows (MPC compatible) sound card; CD-ROM drive (MPC compatible preferred with Microsoft extensions--MSCDEX).
Last March, IBM made its debut with two PS Notes computers, weighing in at 6.2 pounds and using the Intel 386 SX and SLC chips.