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One year after having announced the 8086 (see April 1978 in the history section), Intel released the 8088 which was basically the same microprocessor. It ran at the same clock speed and had the same capacity for memory addressing, but its 8-bit data bus was half the size of its predecessor. All internal instructions were executed with 16-bit registers but a 16-bit data transfer needed two clock cycles to be performed.

Although this made the 8088 less efficient than the 8086, it was less expensive and allowed computer manufacturers to design and make cheaper 8-bit bus computers.

The 8088 became Intel's first really successful CPU when it was adopted, in 1981, by IBM for their IBM PC and XT and by most XT-class clones.

All of the following processors made by Intel kept the 8088 instruction set, up to the Pentium 4 which, 25 years later, can execute any piece of code that ran on the original 8088, but about 5,000 times faster!

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