The Z8000 was Zilog's entry in the 16-bit microprocessor market; it was unsuccessful in large part, as I understand it, because it took too long to debug. According to https://thechipletter.substack.com/p/captain-zilog-crushed-the-story-of
One key implementation decision was that the Z8000 would not make use of microcode.
Okay. That can be a good decision, if you also keep the instruction set very simple and streamlined; though I had not had the impression the Z8000 was a RISC.
Intel had also decided on an implementation that used microcode. The 8086 needed more transistors (more than 50% more than the Z8000) for a less impressive design.
Hmm! That does sound like a RISC Z8000, contrary to the impression I previously had.
THERE’S 32-BIT OPERATION CAPABILITY BUILT INTO THE Z8000 THAT INCLUDES MULTIPLY AND DIVIDE!
It's one thing putting multiply and divide instructions in a microprocessor, even in the seventies, if you are using microcode.
It's another thing altogether to do so without microcode!
Are all of the above claims correct? if so, how did the Z8000 manage to end up with fewer transistors than the 8086?