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The 8086 was 16-bit processor, and thus could only access 64K of RAM. IIRC, the 8086 had 20 memory address lines, so it could address up to 1M of RAM. In order to directly address this memory, they would have needed at least 1 20-bit register. I'm assuming that was too expensive or difficult to fit into their architecture, so they decided to use the ...


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