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This article is about the 32-bit generation of Intel microprocessor architecture. For x86 architecture in general, see x86.

IA-32 (short for "Intel Architecture, 32-bit", sometimes also called i386[1][2] through metonymy)[3] is the third generation of the x86 architecture, first implemented in the Intel 80386 microprocessors in 1985. It was the first incarnation of x86 to support 32-bit computing.[4] As such, "IA-32" may be used as a metonym to refer to all x86 versions that support 32-bit computing.[5][6]

The IA-32 instruction set was introduced in the Intel 80386 microprocessor in 1985 and remains the basis of most PC microprocessors over twenty years later. Even though the instruction set has remained intact, the successive generations of microprocessors that run it have become much faster. Within various programming language directives, IA-32 is still sometimes referred to as the "i386" architecture.

Intel is the inventor and the biggest supplier of IA-32 processors. The second biggest supplier is AMD. As of 2013, Intel, AMD and VIA have moved to x86-64, but still produce IA-32 processors such as Intel Atom (N2xx and Z5xx series),[7] AMD Geode and the VIA C7 family. For a time, Transmeta and others, produced IA-32 processors.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "DITTO". BSD General Commands Manual. Apple. 19 December 2008. Retrieved 3 August 2013. Thin Universal binaries to the specified architecture [...] should be specified as "i386", "x86_64", etc. 
  2. ^ "Additional Predefined Macros". intel.com. Intel. Retrieved 31 August 2013. 
  3. ^ Kemp, Steve. "Running 32-bit Applications on 64-bit Debian GNU/Linux". Debian Administration. 
  4. ^ "Intel® 64 and IA-32 Architectures Software Developer's Manual". Intel Corporation. September 2014. p. 31. The Intel386 processor was the first 32-bit processor in the IA-32 architecture family. It introduced 32-bit registers for use both to hold operands and for addressing. 
  5. ^ Green, Ronald W. (5 May 2009). "What do IA-32, Intel 64 and IA-64 Architecture mean?". software.intel.com. Intel. Retrieved 19 December 2014. 
  6. ^ "Supported Hardware". Ubuntu Help. Canonical. Retrieved 31 August 2013. 
  7. ^ "Intel® Atom™ Processor Specifications". Intel website. Intel Corporation. Retrieved 9 December 2011.