Feeds

Happy 40th birthday, Intel 4004!

The first of the bricks that built the IT world

Business security measures using SSL

Change you can believe in

While the 80286 was essentially an update to the 8086, the "real change" came with the 32-bit 386, Pawlowski said.

"The beauty of it is that it went to large segments," Pawlowski said. "So instead of having the typical 64k segment architecture, they actually could go the full flat address space and go to four gigs."

As he recalls it: "The big problem we were facing with Motorola and the 68K – which was the competition at the time – was they had a flat address space and we were segmented, because that was the architecture we'd chosen to build the 8086-based architecture on."

Intel 8086

Intel 8086: 4.77MHz, 8MHz, or 10MHz; 3-micron process (click to enlarge)

Pawlowski worked on the first Multibus board built for the 386. On that board, his team added a 64K direct-mapped cache in front of the 386. "It wasn't integrated inside the part," he told us, "but it was a 16MHz clock, and so we were getting to the point where we were starting to see some of the stress points of the memory architecture – memory access patterns, which were 150 nanoseconds."

But with the 64K direct-mapped cache, "We did some pretty nifty little things," he said. "And it ran 16-bit code really well, so that was the real success."

The 386 was the chip around which Intel started building motherboards. When the 486 came along, it integrated that motherboard cache into the chip itself, and it also integrated the math coprocessor in the 486DX version. The 386 had still relied on the separate 387 chip – and, yes, there was a 386DX, but that designation had nothing to do with an on-chip FPU.

Go figure.

Intel 8088

Intel 8088: 4.77MHz or 8MHz, 3-micron process (click to enlarge)

After the 386 and the 486 came not the 586, but instead a chip that was rechristened by the Intel marketing department as the Pentium, and was built using a new microarchitecture known internally as P5.

"That became the first superscalar machine," Pawlowski told us, superscalar being the term of art that describes a processor that has more than one concurrent execution sequence, or pipeline.

"That's where we actually had multiple execution units," he said. "Not necessarily the same, but the scheduler was at least smart enough to look inside the machine, if it had to do an add, had to do a multiply, potentially some type of fetch, or some other type of instruction, it could actually look for places where it could get more locality out of the instruction, out of the machine itself."

New hybrid storage solutions

More from The Register

next story
Half a BILLION in the making: Bungie's Destiny reviewed
It feels very familiar - but it's still good
Oi, Tim Cook. Apple Watch. I DARE you to tell me, IN PERSON, that it's secure
State attorney demands Apple CEO bows the knee to him
Apple's big bang: iPhone 6, ANOTHER iPhone 6 Plus and WATCH OUT
Let's >sigh< see what Cupertino has been up to for the past year
Huawei ditches new Windows Phone mobe plans, blames poor sales
Giganto mobe firm slams door shut on Microsoft. OH DEAR
4K-ing excellent TV is on its way ... in its own sweet time, natch
For decades Hollywood actually binned its 4K files. Doh!
Phones 4u website DIES as wounded mobe retailer struggles to stay above water
Founder blames 'ruthless network partners' for implosion
Get your Indian Landfill Android One handsets - they're only SIXTY QUID
Cheap and deafening mobes for the subcontinental masses
Apple's SNEAKY plan: COPY ANDROID. Hello iPhone 6, Watch
Sizes, prices and all – but not for the wrist-o-puter
prev story

Whitepapers

Providing a secure and efficient Helpdesk
A single remote control platform for user support is be key to providing an efficient helpdesk. Retain full control over the way in which screen and keystroke data is transmitted.
Saudi Petroleum chooses Tegile storage solution
A storage solution that addresses company growth and performance for business-critical applications of caseware archive and search along with other key operational systems.
Security and trust: The backbone of doing business over the internet
Explores the current state of website security and the contributions Symantec is making to help organizations protect critical data and build trust with customers.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.