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Meaning of INTEL 80386

Computing Dictionary

(Commonly abbreviated to "386", trademark "Intel386") The successor to the intel 80286 microprocessor. It was the first Intel processor with 32-bit data and address busses. It can address four gigabytes (2^32 bytes) of memory; however, 16 megabytes is a typical maximum in ibm pcs. The 386 allows multiple application programs to run at the same time (when running under 386-specific operating systems) using "protected mode".

The first ibm compatible to use the 386 was the compaq 386, before ibm used it in high-end models of their ps/2 series. It is also used in hp's rs series and many others.

It does not require special ems memory boards to expand ms-dos memory limits. With the 386, the EMS standard can be simulated in normal extended memory, and many DOS add-ons provide this "Expanded Memory Manager" feature.

See also intel 80386sx, bsd386.