16 bit Microprocessors, History and Architecture
Author: Patrick Stakem
Publisher: Independently Published
Release Date: January 04, 2017
The era of the 16-bit microprocessor began in 1978 with the introduction by Intel of the 8086 and 8088 processors. Embedded controller versions of some of the general purpose cpu's were also added to the families. The 16-bit microprocessors were a follow-on to the previous 8 bit chips. They offered not only greater integer word size, but more address range, and faster operation than their predecessors. Initially implemented in multiple chips, the march of technology finally allowed these 16-bit machines to be a single chips design. Floating point hardware was developed for the 16-bit integer cpu's, and would later be incorporated into the same chip as the later 32-bit processors.At the same time, single-chip versions of some of the popular 16-bit minicomputers evolved. These included the DEC PDP-11 and Data Genera NOVA series. The 16-bit machines finally brought processing power to the desktop to begin to threaten the reign of the mainframes. Just imagine. A computer on every desktop. What would we do with that?