Contents of the 80486.TXT file
The following is an excerpt from an article that appeared in
Infoworld on August 15, 1987
INTEL FINALIZES SPECIFICATIONS FOR 80486 CHIP
By Mark Brownstein:
Intel Corp. has finalized its specifications for the 80486, the
next-generation processor in its 8086/80286/80386 series,
according to a company spokesman. The processor, targeted for
completion in 1990, will be fabricated using low-power CMOS
technology. It will have a 32-bit data bus and the equivalent of
1 million to 1.25 million transistors.
By contrast, the 80286 chip has some 135,000 transistors, and the
80386 chip uses about 250,000 transistors, the company said. At
a presentation given to major Businessland clients, David House,
senior vice president of Intel and general manager of the
company's Microcomputer Group, described what he called a "tuned
The engine will consist of a CPU, memory management, accelerators
such as math coprocessors, and I/O controllers, including
communications ports and high-speed graphics support. "We can
put the CPU, cache, accelerator, and I/O on the chip and still
have 250,000 transistors available," House said.
A computer built around the 80486 chip will have the performance
equivalent to the IBM Sierra mainframe computer, according to
House, and will be able to execute 20 million instructions per
second. The chip will also support the use of multiple
processors - the addition of which will further improve the
performance of the system. The 80486 will be compatible with the
8086, 80186, 80286, and 80386 chips, the spokesman stated.
The chip may offer an improved human interface, which requires
higher resolution displays, instantly available windows
controlled through hardware, and artificial intelligence
capability, House said. With the dropping price of memory and
the 80486's capability to address extremely large amounts of
memory, a high-speed, user-intuitive interface built mainly in
hardware is conceivable, according to House.
Future systems using the chip should also have hardware support
for the leading communications and networking standards. House
hinted that connectivity may be the proposed purpose of the
250,000 transistors not committed to features already described.