Mark Pickavance looks at the shifting relevance of Intel's X86 technology, and if it will soon be a thing of the past
The origins of X86 go back to 1978 when Intel released the 8086 processor, a 16-bit extended version of its previous 8088 series design. It wasn't an overnight success, because there were lots of chip makers then, and many of them had more popular support than Intel.
Early computer makers preferred the chips like the Z80 from Zilog, 6501 and 6502 by MOS technology, the 6800 series by Motorola, among others. But what propelled Intel's technology was IBM's choice to use it in its IBM PC in 1981 and the subsequent success of this platform in standardising Intel instructions and initially the MS-DOS operating system.