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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.
References in periodicals archive ?
Larrabee will include many cores and combine processing capabilities of graphics processing units with the x86 architecture, improving application and graphics performance.
Nvidia may develop an integrated x86-based chip for use in low-cost computers, an Nvidia executive said this week, a move that would step up its rivalry with Intel.<p>Nvidia is considering developing an integrated chip based on the x86 architecture for use in devices such as netbooks and mobile Internet devices (MIDs), said Michael Hara, vice president of investor relations at Nvidia, during a speech that was webcast from the Morgan Stanley Technology Conference on Tuesday.
He noted that the number of ARM processors sold has outstripped those based on the x86 architecture, though much of that is because ARM chips appear in mobile devices.
There is more software available worldwide for the x86 architecture than any other.
But unlike most supercomputers today, including virtually the entire TOP500 list, Astra isn't built around the x86 architecture. It shares that distinction with just 24 other systems on the existing TOP500, with the other 476 systems based on Intel or AMD hardware.
"With a little change in core banking systems, KB Kookmin plans to study how to better fit IBM's x86 architecture servers into non-core banking systems for new business opportunities," the official said.