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Tech History Today

October 17, 1985: Intel releases 80386DX processor

Intel, on this day in 1985, released its 80386DX processor (commonly known as i386DX or just 386DX). The 275,000 intel logo - Tech History Todaytransistor chip was a big jump from the 20 MHz 286. It contained the ability to address up to 4 GB of memory and had a bigger instruction set.

The processor came as the successor to the company’s 80286. It played as the CPU to many workstations and high-end personal computers of the time. Its instruction set, programming model, and binary encodings are still the common denominator for all 32-bit x86 processors, which is termed as the i386-architecture, x86, or IA-32, depending on context.

In fall 2007, the i386 chip was finally discontinued. Although it had long been obsolete as a personal computer CPU, Intel and others had continued making the chip for embedded systems.