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The fourth generation of the Intel x86 family of CPU chips. The term may refer to the chip or to a PC that used it. Introduced in 1989, it was the successor to the 386 and the first chip in the line to include a built-in math coprocessor. Providing acceptable performance for DOS, it was bare minimum for Windows. Later versions of the chip doubled and tripled internal speeds (see DX2 and DX4). See OverDrive CPU, PC and x86.

Technical Specs
The 486 was a 32-bit CPU with thirty-two 32-bit registers and 1.1M to 1.2M transistors in a 168- or 169-pin PGA package. Real Mode performed as an 8086 CPU that addressed 1MB of RAM, while Protected Mode addressed 4GB of physical RAM and 64TB of virtual memory. Virtual 8086 Mode ran a Real Mode application in a virtual machine.

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References in periodicals archive ?
The eye tracker was interfaced with an 80486 microcomputer, which ran the experiment.
The system used an 80486 IBM-compatible platform to generate the stimuli and record responses.
Fister, who is 50, spent 17 years at Intel, and was responsible for bringing the later generations of Intel's 80486 processors - the ones without the bugs - to market as well as the Pentium Pro, Pentium II, Pentium III, Celeron, Pentium II Xeon and Pentium III Xeon chips to market.
Each vendor that brought out an "IBM Compatible" PC also went to Intel for its processors, the 8088 and 8086 for the first generation of PC compatibles, then as IBM and Compaq introduced new generations of systems, the 80286, 80386, and 80486.
(6) The Intel 80486, introduced in 1989, carries more than one million transistors and performs about 10 MIPS.
It will work in any notebook with the following minimum configurations: 80486 or later processor, 4MB of free disk space, 8MB of RAM (16MB or more recommended) and a CD-ROM.
In 1993, the 80486 was hardly the dinosaur chip it might appear to be today.
Performance measurements were conducted on a testbed consisting of three Intel 33MHz 80486 PCs with 8MB RAM.
Fortunately, my old 80486 still has Lotus version 5.0 on it and that simplifies things when I want to Bale a spreadsheet.
The hardware components of the system included a light microscope (Olympus model BH2; Olympus), a color CCD camera (Javelin Chromachip II model JE3462RGB; Javelin Electronics), an 80486 computer (Gateway 2000), a video imaging board (MVP-AT; Matrox Electronic Systems), and a 13-inch closed circuit television monitor (Sony) that was used to display the images.
The delivery platform selected was a 80486 PC that was part of the Army common computer hardware.