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Just to cover your question of the i586 (Pentium P5) being a 32bit, yes that is correct. To cover my statement of AMD being the first to market with 64bit, AMD launched the first 64bit processor onto the market with the Opteron in 2003 (PC and server based), Intel followed a year later with the PC based Pentium 4F and Pentum D, and in 2006 with the server Itanium with IA-64 code.


Andrew Brown

On 28/07/2013 12:14 PM, Andrew Brown wrote:
Yes under a laymans's terminology, and Linux devs seem to still use i586 and i686 in labelling pices of software, to explain the chip the software code can run on. Intel dropped that chip naming convention after the last i486, due to some claimed patent issues of other competitors using similar naming conventions, which they tried to bring to court, but never succeeded.

The Pentium (part of the Greek word "pente" meaning 5, for Intel their 5th generation of processors) was going to be named the i586, but with the court failure mention above, Intel went to names such as Pentium, and the P5, P6 naming convention etc. In using the x86 (or loosely and incorrectly x32) or x64 (also really incorrect as AMD has claim to the first launched 64bit processors and systems, so is more correctly known as AMD64) refers to the bitness/bit width of the processing data path.

The latter I mentioned above is more applicable today to explain the difference between 32bit and 64bit now, due to the fact that we have both hardware and software running 64bit.


Andrew Brown

On 27/07/2013 04:06 AM, James Knott wrote:
Paul wrote:
Technically, the x86 indicates the architecture, the 64 indicates the
instruction set width. So x86_64 is a 64 bit chip, and the x86_32 is a
32 bit chip.

I thought 32 bit CPUs were referred to as i586..

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