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Intel 80186 CPU

History
Intel continued the evolution of the 8086 and 8088 by introducing the 80186 and 80188. These processors featured new instructions, new fault tolerance protection, and was Intel's first of many failed attempts at the x86 chip integration game.

The new instructions and fault tolerance additions were logical evolutions of the 8086 and 8088. Intel added instructions that made programming much more convenient for low-level (assembly language) programmers. Intel also added some fault tolerance protection. The original 8086 and 8088 would hang when they encountered an invalid computer instruction. The 80186 and 80188 added the ability to trap this condition and attempt a recovery method.

Intel integrated this processor with many of the peripheral chips already employed in the IBM-PC. The 80186 / 80188 integrated interrupt controllers, interval timers, DMA controllers, clock generators, and other core support logic. In many ways, this chip was produced a decade ahead of its time. Unfortunately, this chip didn't catch on with many hardware manufacturers; thus spelled the end of Intel's first attempt at CPU integration. However, this chip has enjoyed a tremendous success in the world of embedded processors. If you look on your high performance disk driver or disk controller, you might still see an 80186 being used.

Eventually, many embedded processor vendors began manufacturing these chips as a second source to Intel, or in clones of their own. Between the various vendors, the 80186/80188 was available in speeds ranging from 6 MHz to 40 MHz.

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