Microprocessor Evolution

The 4004 CPU was the forerunner of all of today’s Intel offerings and, to date, all PC processors have been based on the original Intel designs. The first chip used in an IBM PC 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. These early processors would have nowhere near sufficient power to run today’s software. The table below shows the generations of processors from Intel’s first generation 8088/86 in the late 1970s to the eighth-generation AMD Athlon 64, launched in the autumn of 2003: Chronological Evolution of CPUs Type/ Generation Year Data/ Address bus width Level 1 Cache (KB) Memory bus speed (MHz) Internal clock speed (MHz) 8088/ First 1979 8/20 bit None 4.77-8 4.77-8 8086/ First 1978 16/20 bit None 4.77-8 4.77-8 80286/ Second 1982 16/24 bit None 6-20 6-20 80386DX/ Third 1985 32/32 bit None 16-33 16-33 80386SX/ Third 1988 16/32 bit 8 16-33 16-33 80486DX/ Fourth 1989 32/32 bit 8 25-50 25-50 80486SX/ Fourth 1989 32/32 bit 8 25-50 25-50 80486DX2/ Fourth 1992 32/32 bit 8 25-40 50-80 80486DX4/ Fourth 1994 32/32 bit 8+8 25-40 75-120 Pentium/ Fifth 1993 64/32 bit 8+8 60-66 60-200 MMX/ Fifth 1997 64/32 bit 16+16 66 166-233 Pentium Pro/ Sixth 1995 64/32 bit 8+8 66 150-200 Pentium...

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