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Questions tagged [intel]

Retrocomputing hardware and software created by Intel.

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9 votes
1 answer
378 views

What was the 6-bit length instruction(s) in the Intel iAPX 432?

The iAPX 432 was arguably the most complex processor architecture ever and a commercial failure for Intel. It was a stack machine with no visible general-purpose registers. It had hardware support ...
15 votes
1 answer
3k views

What's the story behind the "mysterious" 486DX3?

As I was skimming through an old MS-DOS game's README, I stumbled upon this: Therefore, we reccomend a newer 486-100 or better, preferably with a large external cache. Best performance will result ...
9 votes
2 answers
365 views

What floating point libraries were written to meet the IEEE 754 standard before it was accepted in 1985?

The IEEE 754 floating point arithmetic working group began in 1977 and was formally accepted in 1985. One of the original driving factors of the standard itself was Intel who wanted a standard to go ...
28 votes
3 answers
4k views

Why are the Intel 8080's rotate instructions called opposite to intuition?

The Intel 8080 has two pairs of instructions for rotating the value of the accumulator -- RLC/RRC and RAL/RAR. One of them shifts the 8 bits in the accumulator circularly, writing out into the carry ...
18 votes
3 answers
2k views

When did the 386 overtake the 286?

The Intel 80386 was released in 1985, but was initially expensive, and took a long time to fully displace the earlier 80286 from the market; subjectively, I remember significant numbers of 286 ...
17 votes
2 answers
1k views

Which computers used the Intel 82786 graphics chips, and what sort of commercial success did that chip attain?

In the late 1980's, Intel offered the 82786 graphics chip, with specific support for windowed environments. I remember it being covered in Byte magazine, but don't remember seeing any applications of ...
5 votes
1 answer
582 views

Did the i186 use interrupt 6 for invalid opcodes?

I don't recall where from but at some point I was under the impression that the Intel 186 processor used interrupt 6 for invalid opcodes. However, there's the HP 95LX that uses a NEC V20. NEC V20/V30 ...
6 votes
1 answer
568 views

How did AMD Am386 and Am486 outperform Intel's version of the same microprocessors?

This question is related to a previous one that has been asked here before (How did AMD's 386 and 486 perform like Intel's newer generation?) My question is-two fold: a) When AMD "...
7 votes
0 answers
88 views

iRMX bootsector on a iRMX partition how to clone?

I have an old year 2000 instrument which has a 340MB hard drive. I am trying to clone the hard drive but I am having major issues. First the instrument uses iRMX and MSDOS the bios is using the CHS ...
92 votes
10 answers
34k views

How much better was DEC Alpha than contemporaneous x86?

The DEC Alpha, released in 1992, seems like an early implementation of a fully 64-bit microprocessor architecture. Its release led to quite a bit of both marketing hype and genuine vendor support in ...
49 votes
2 answers
4k views

Did Windows NT 4 emulate x86 on non-Intel platforms?

I've been trying to find more information about non-Intel versions of Windows NT regarding x86 emulation but found very little about it. There is one sentence about it in the Wikipedia page but the ...
28 votes
2 answers
9k views

The start of x86: Intel 8080 vs Intel 8086?

Why is it said that all modern Intel processors of the x86 family are said to descend from the Intel 8086 and not the Intel 8080? From the Wikipedia article on the Intel 8086, The 8086 gave rise to ...
0 votes
1 answer
154 views

What if ATX 12v P4 power connector was introduced 4 years earlier? [closed]

AT power supply handled +5 and +12 volts, +5 for ISA and processors, +12 for motors in disk drives. In 1995 486DX2 was introduced with 3.3V core, so it derived that from a simple but inefficient ...
13 votes
3 answers
522 views

How much extra die area did a CMOS CPU take?

Starting in the late seventies, the microchip industry generally switched from NMOS to CMOS, primarily because CMOS circuits use less power, though they also have other advantages like more noise ...
21 votes
5 answers
3k views

How and why did Intel make the PCI bus "CPU Agnostic"?

Intel invented the original 32/64-bit PCI bus in the early 1990s to replace the decade old ISA bus used in PC's. It was immediately popular (in comparison to Micro Channel or EISA), being both faster ...
14 votes
1 answer
1k views

Intel "Kernel processor" or "OS Kernel"

I used to have an Intel data book from 1981. I gave it away to a friend, and he probably also lost it along the way. In this book there was a data sheet for a component called "OS Kernel" or ...
33 votes
4 answers
10k views

Intel CPU bug in the 90s

My teacher who teaches "Logic" at the university told us a story about Intel processors, which goes: "In the 90s, Intel had a bug in the calculation of mathematical functions like sine ...
4 votes
1 answer
241 views

Are there multiple models of the Intel 8089 IOP?

As far as I'm concerned there is only one model of the Intel 8089 (the D8089A-3). I am not able to find any information on this. While the 8086,8088 and 8087 use the scheme of the last number (-3 in ...
8 votes
0 answers
312 views

Undefined opcodes for the Intel 8008 CPU

What happens when I8008 CPU reads the "undefined" opcode (22h, 2Ah, 32h, 38h, 39h, 3Ah; or in octal 042, 052, 062, 070, 071, and 072)? Are these opcodes evaluated as a NOP instruction, or ...
28 votes
14 answers
6k views

Were people building CPUs out of TTL logic prior to the 4004, 8080 and the 6800?

I've just finished reading Charles Petzold's book, Code: The Hidden Language of Computer Hardware and Software. In it Charles explains building relays into gates, gates into logic components, and ...
20 votes
2 answers
4k views

Did any notable product use Intel's first RAM?

The 3101 SRAM was Intel's first product. At $99.50 for 64 bits, it had enough memory to store the characters expensiv. (Sorry, the final e costs extra.) Is there a record of any product using it?
8 votes
3 answers
2k views

Why was the size of the 1989 Intel i860 (aka 80860) memory bus 64bit?

On Wikipedia I have read the i860 from 1989 memory bus was at least 64bits wide. (It is the first CPU the Windows NT kernel was running on.) I think even 10 years later (1999) most desktop CPUs were ...
15 votes
1 answer
2k views

What is the history of the Intel 8275 video controller?

The highly popular at the time build-it-yourself home computer Radio 86RK, designed in the Soviet Union, contained a rather mysterious video controller chip КР580ВГ75. It had a high end, feature rich ...
6 votes
2 answers
1k views

What’s the last x86 CPU that didn’t place a limit on the size of a single instruction?

Although useless, it’s widely known the first Intel and derivative CPUs like the Z80 didn’t set a limit on the instruction size. This means that it was possible to fill the whole RAM/ROM with a single ...
5 votes
3 answers
1k views

Does Intel Inboard 386/PC work on XT clone systems?

I don't have an Intel Inboard 386/PC, but I have a plan to buy it in the future. When I read its manual, there was no support for XT clones. It says: Install the Inboard 386/PC only in the computers ...
6 votes
1 answer
636 views

Why did the 8085 multiplex data with the low address byte?

Intel’s 8085 used bus multiplexing to stuff more functionality into 40 pins than would otherwise be possible. One of those pins, ALE, signals when the AD0…7 pins are outputting the low byte of the ...
18 votes
5 answers
3k views

Was there ever a genuine "mainframe-on-a-chip" microprocessor?

In the 1980s and 90s, there was a fad among the IT industry press to dub the newest "hot" microprocessor on the market as being a "mainframe-on-a-chip". I have seen this fawning description applied to ...
31 votes
10 answers
12k views

Should 486s have a heatsink?

I'm building a 486 computer. I plan on using a 100 MHz 486-DX4 that I have which I believe is about as fast as 486's went. The motherboard I will use (Socket 3) appears to support putting a heatsink ...
74 votes
8 answers
25k views

Which Linux or BSD distributions do still support i386, i486 or i586 CPUs?

Unfortunately Debian kicked out Pentium 1 (i586) CPU support from its 32-bit PC port (named i386 for historic circumstances) for its next stable release Debian 9 Stretch. (Then again they complain ...
4 votes
1 answer
227 views

Why 8086/8088 has OF in a high Flags byte?

In 8086, OF is put not into low Flags byte as other flags but separated in the second (high) byte. This is followed then in all the x86 line. Beside the possible historical reasons, this looks highly ...
5 votes
3 answers
1k views

Why has the Intel Itanium failed to take on the world? [closed]

Last summer, the Itanium has finally been discontinued, twenty years after its release. It was a promising technology, but in the end it turned out to not really be the case. Beside a few niche ...
6 votes
3 answers
749 views

Did Intel syntax for x86 assembly come from an Intel assembler?

I'm wondering where the so-called Intel syntax for x86 assembly came from. Did Intel release their own assembler for chips like the 8086 or do we just mean the syntax they used in the manuals?
19 votes
2 answers
4k views

What are these weird long ISA slots on this 386 board? (not VLB)

In this image, you can see, from the right, a 16-bit ISA slot (occupied by a controller card), an 8-bit ISA slot, four more 16-bit ISA slots, and two of these strange slots that look like a 16-bit ISA ...
12 votes
1 answer
2k views

Which endian was the Intel 4004?

The Intel 4004 had 4-bit buses and data words, but the program counter and code address space was 12 bits. Was the 4004 little endian (like all of Intel's later microprocessors and microcontrollers) ...
13 votes
1 answer
2k views

Intel processor transistor type evolution

The Intel 4004 used MOS (metal–oxide–semiconductor) transistors. What has been the transistor types used in Intel processors onwards from the 4004 to 8085 to the x86 family of instruction set ...
1 vote
1 answer
369 views

What's the heritage of 80286? [closed]

80186 introduced some instructions for HLL features. 80286 introduced some instructions for protected mode, and provided some multitasking ability with external MMU which was never intended for PCs ...
5 votes
3 answers
1k views

Need circuit - manual step-by-step clock for 8086/8088

I finally bought a ceramic 8086-1 (from ebay, from China - I'm not sure that it is not fake chip) and 8284 (it make the necessary synchronization signal for the processor from the crystal). Now I ...
14 votes
1 answer
703 views

SYSENTER/SYSEXIT broken on Pentium Pro and Pentium II?

I was just reading What is linux-gate.so.1?, and it says this: Intel recognized this problem early on and introduced a more efficient system call interface in the form of sysenter and sysexit ...
3 votes
0 answers
188 views

Scaling compute times to a Pentium III 700 MHz [closed]

According to a competition programming site, where users can submit single source files to be compiled and run, "programs are run on a modern processor but times are scaled to a 700 MHz Pentium ...
3 votes
1 answer
604 views

How much RAM was sold each year in the 1970s?

I'm trying to get an idea of the quantitative parameters of the computer industry in the era that saw the rise of personal computers. Of course, the industry as a whole was old by then; companies like ...
19 votes
2 answers
3k views

How did AMD's 386 and 486 perform like Intel's newer generation?

AMD really started to come into its own as a competitor to Intel around the time of the Intel 80486 introduction. AMD countered Intel by shipping the popular (at least with PC enthusiasts) Am386-40, ...
-3 votes
2 answers
642 views

Should I install Gentoo i586 packages on my PC? [closed]

I've recently commenced revitalizing an HP Pavilion Slim. She's running an Intel Pentium, x86_64. I thought I'd give Gentoo a go because I've found it very appealing and as a Bedrock user I wanted to ...
7 votes
1 answer
655 views

80387 transistor count

In 1985, Intel released the 80386, a particularly complex and sophisticated microprocessor for its day, consisting of 275,000 transistors, a rather large number for the day. How many transistors went ...
2 votes
1 answer
777 views

Intel vs Motorola device communication protocols

On this page about "An S-100 68000 CPU Board" it is said: From a hardware perspective there are some very significant differences how Intel and Motorola CPU's talk to the world. Somewhat ...
2 votes
0 answers
157 views

advice for retrieving functions and tables from intel 8061/8065 bin file (reverse engineering) from Ford EECV ECU

I have under my disposal some Ford EECV bin files and my goal for the next few weeks is to retrieve the functions and tables and plot them out before going onto DIY hardware . . Does anyone know which ...
4 votes
1 answer
477 views

Instructions added with the Intel 80286 [closed]

The 80286 processor added these instructions: ARPL, VERR, VERW, LAR, LSL, SMSW, SGDT, SIDT, SLDT, STR, LMSW, LGDT, LIDT, LLDT, LTR, CLTS. To help understand how this was implemented I am looking for ...
3 votes
1 answer
502 views

Intel 8008 stack behavior

Intel 8008 CPU has an internal stack, implemented as an 8 x 14-bit scratchpad. How does it work exactly? Is there any "invisible 3-bit stack pointer"? I want to know what happens when the ...
0 votes
1 answer
206 views

Carry flag in the Intel 8008

Datasheet for the Intel 8008 CPU mentions that the Carry (C) flag is affected with the logic operations (AND, OR, XOR), but it does not make any sense. I believe Carry will be zeroed, but I have no ...
25 votes
3 answers
885 views

Why was segment register value scaled by such a small factor of 16 on i8086?

In 8086 architecture memory is addressed by segment:offset scheme, where the 20-bit linear address is formed as address=segment*16+offset. This looks needlessly complicated and doesn't allow to ...
5 votes
1 answer
298 views

Do all Intel Celeron processors support "FCOMIP"? [closed]

I am interested, did all Celeron processors support the FCOMIP instruction? I've made a compiler for my programming language and it uses FCOMIP for every floating-point comparison. I've noticed that ...