The Intel 80386 microprocessor, also referred to as the 386 or i386, was introduced in 1985. It was the 80286’s replacement and the first microprocessor to use a 32-bit architecture, enabling it to handle more complex tasks and data volumes.
The 386’s support for virtual memory, which allowed the processor to access more memory than was actually physically available on the computer, was one of its key features. This was accomplished by turning a portion of the hard drive into virtual memory that the processor could access just like real physical memory.
In addition, the 386 was the first microprocessor to support multitasking, enabling it to run multiple programs concurrently. This was accomplished by allocating the processor’s time among the various programs, enabling them to all run at the same time.
Along with these features, the 386 also had a larger instruction set, which enabled it to handle more complicated instructions and perform a wider range of tasks. In addition, it was quicker and more effective than the 80286 it replaced.
In general, the 80386 represented a significant advance in microprocessor technology and opened the door for later, more potent processors like the 80486 and Pentium. In the late 1980s and early 1990s, it was widely utilized in computers and other devices, and it continues to be a significant development in computer history.