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[ The PC Guide | Systems and Components Reference Guide | The Processor | Processor Families | First Generation Processors ]

Intel 8088

The first chip used in PCs was Intel's 8088. This was not, at the time it was chosen, the best available CPU, in fact Intel's own 8086 was more powerful and had been released earlier. The 8088 was chosen for reasons of economics: its 8-bit data bus required less costly motherboards than the 16-bit 8086. Also, at the time that the original PC was designed, most of the interface chips available were intended for use in 8-bit designs. It's ironic, isn't it, that Intel's first production chip was in a way, the "8086SX"? :^) It originally shipped at 4.77 MHz and a "turbo" version was later produced that ran at 8 MHz (Woo.. :^) )

This original chip used what would be considered today to be archaic technology. The 8088 offers performance less than one-thousandth that of a modern processor, showing just how far we have come in 15 years.

Note: The NEC V20 is an 8088-compatible but actually delivers slightly better performance due to a slightly more efficient internal design.

Note: The original design of this chip was in NMOS, with newer ones in CMOS (80C88) for lower power consumption.

Look here for an explanation of the categories in the processor summary table below, including links to more detailed explanations.

General Information

Manufacturer

Intel

Family Name

8088

Code name

--

Processor Generation

First

Motherboard Generation

First

Version

8088

8088-8

Introduced

June 1979

!?

Variants and Licensed Equivalents

80C88, AMD 8088, NEC V20

Speed Specifications

Memory Bus Speed (MHz)

4.77

8

Processor Clock Multiplier

1.0

Processor Speed (MHz)

4.77

8

"P" Rating

--

Benchmarks

iCOMP Rating

--

iCOMP 2.0 Rating

--

Norton SI

1.0

1.7

Norton SI32

--

CPUmark32

--

Physical Characteristics

Process Technology

NMOS, CMOS

Circuit Size (microns)

3.0

Die Size (mm^2)

33

Transistors (millions)

0.029

Voltage, Power and Cooling

External or I/O Voltage (V)

5

Internal or Core Voltage (V)

5

Power Management

None

Cooling Requirements

None

Packaging

Packaging Style

40-Pin DIP

Motherboard Interface

DIP socket

External Architecture

Data Bus Width (bits)

8

Maximum Data Bus Bandwidth (Mbytes/sec)

4.5

7.6

Address Bus Width (bits)

20

Maximum Addressable Memory

1 MB

Level 2 Cache Type

None

Level 2 Cache Size

--

Level 2 Cache Bus Speed

--

Multiprocessing

No

Internal Architecture

Instruction Set

8088

MMX Support

No

Processor Modes

Real

x86 Execution Method

Native

Internal Components

Register Size (bits)

16

Pipeline Depth (stages)

1

Level 1 Cache Size

None

Level 1 Cache Mapping

--

Level 1 Cache Write Policy

--

Integer Units

1

Floating Point Unit / Math Coprocessor

Optional 8087 Coprocessor

Instruction Decoders

1

Branch Prediction Buffer Size / Accuracy

None

Write Buffers

None

Performance Enhancing Features

None

Next: Intel 8086


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