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(1) x86 primarily means definition #2 below; however, the term may also refer to 32-bits when contrasting 32-bit with 64-bit hardware for Windows PCs (see x64). See Program Files x86.

(2) The world's predominant hardware platform for laptops, desktops and servers. The x86 line was developed by Intel and includes the Core, Xeon, Pentium, Atom and original 8086 family (hence the "86"). With an even greater market share than x86, ARM is the hardware platform for mobile devices and appliances (see ARM).

AMD also manufactures x86 CPUs with brands such as Athlon, Sempron and Opteron. Although Intel and AMD are primary sources, x86 chips are also made by others. See x86 compatible, x86 chip platform and embedded system.

x86 Lineage and Branding
The x86 architecture stems from Intel's 8088 CPU in 1979, the heart of the original IBM PC in 1981. The 8088 was a slower version of the 8086, which begat the 80186, 286, 386, 486, Pentium and subsequent processor families. See 8088, Pentium, Intel Core and x64.

Copyright © 1981-2019 by The Computer Language Company Inc. All Rights reserved. THIS DEFINITION IS FOR PERSONAL USE ONLY. All other reproduction is strictly prohibited without permission from the publisher.
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Only time will tell if new attempts to emulate Intel's x86 ISA will meet a different fate.
In March 2011, Oracle made a decision to stop writing software for Itanium, saying "Intel management made it clear that their strategic focus is on their x86 microprocessor and that Itanium was nearing the end of its life." That spawned a legal battle with HP, which wanted continued Oracle software support and development for its HP-UX customers.
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Porting x86 code to ARM could be surprisingly easy, if the code is written in a way that is conducive to porting and the necessary tools are accessible, said Rosemary Francis, managing director of Ellexus, in ablog entry on ARM's website.
Due to the pressure from x86 mainstream models, the shipment of non-x86 servers was 219, while revenue from such product grew by 25% and 3% from previous quarter and a year earlier, respectively, to reach US$29.2 million.
According to Gartner, "Virtualization penetration has surpassed 50 percent of all server workloads, and it continues to grow." The report continues: "The x86 server virtualization infrastructure market is the foundation for two extremely important market trends that relate and overlap: infrastructure modernization and cloud computing.
This zEnterprise 114 is primarily competing against aLinux server running on an x86 platform, said Kahn.
Intel, however, is not losing sleep over Microsoft's move to ARM architecture as it purports that having a Windows 8 on x86 which also runs legacy apps, plays to Intel's advantage.
Previously, OpenCL was considered the only portable parallel language for both GPU and x86 processors.
The systems are also certified with other x86 operating systems and virtualization platforms.
Both companies make x86 software that emulates a mainframe environment, allowing mainframe apps to run on commodity hardware.