That was the year Intel created the 8086, a 3-micron chip chugging along at 4.77MHz, while later versions would run at up to 10MHz. The 8086 had just 29,000 transistors, which was still nearly four times as many as the 8085 released in 1976, and was Intel's first 16-bit microprocessor and responsible for kicking off the 16-bit era (note that the 8086 wasn't the first 16-bit chip). Backwards compatibility with software written for the 8008, 8080, and 8085, and the ability to address 1MB of memory natively made the 8086 a near instant success.
Intel entertained the computing world with the 80286 in 1982, a 1.5-micron part with a mind-boggling 134,000 transistors and 16MB of addressable memory. The first 286 pedaled along at... View More »