WHAT IS ... x86 ?

WHAT IS ... IA32 ?

WHAT IS ... IA64 ?

"IA32" = "Intel's 32-Bit computer architecture"

IA32 is an abbreviation of "Intel Architecture 32-bit";
it refers to common 32-bit computer architectures

... where "architecture" means [hardware] + [appropriate Operating System];
... ... here, "hardware" refers primarily to 'a 32-bit CPU' <processor>.

The abbreviation "IA32" only came into use after the introduction of "64-bit computing"; it is intended to replace the abbreviation "x86" (see below).

"IA64" = a 64-Bit computer architecture

IA64 is an abbreviation of "Intel Architecture 64-bit"; it refers to 64-bit computer architectures

... where "architecture" means hardware + appropriate Operating System;
... ... here, "hardware" refers primarily to 'a 62-bit CPU' <processor>.

x86 = "IA32"

x86 (or, rarely, "x86-32") is the first widely used abbreviation for common 32-bit computer architectures.

The abbreviation "x86" comes from the Intel Processor model number "Intel 8086" and the subsequent model numbers that ended in the numbers "86".

... the 'x' indicated a variable meaning 'any'; for example: "Intel386", "Intel486".

Note that other Processor ("chip") makers also adopted the "86" in their model numbers; for example: "Cyrix 6x86", "Nx586", "AMD Am386"

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Author: Lyberty
Date Last Modified: 2009, January

keywords: define x86 , define IA32 , technology terms , definition of x86, x86 vs. IA64