PC Reference Library – Evolution of the Central Processing Unit – Intel 8088 Quick Facts

March 15, 2020 Mike Casimir 0

Intel 8088 microprocessor was released in 1979, or one year after the Intel 8086 CPU. Both processors have the same architecture, and the only difference of the 8088 CPU from the 8086 is the external data bus width – it was reduced from 16 bits to 8 bits. The 8088 CPU uses two consecutive bus cycles to read or write 16 bit data instead of one bus cycle for the 8086, which makes the 8088 processor to run slower. On the plus side hardware changes to the 8088 CPU made it compatible with 8080/8085 support chips. This was an important factor in choosing the 8088 processor for IBM PC line of computers because at that time 8-bit support chips were cheaper than 16-bit support chips, and there was better selection of 8-bit chips.