Stupid Question 82: What does x86 stand for? And why do we use x86 to represent 32-bit?
I was honestly thought everybody knew the answer to this one except me, but secretly I really wanted to know. Because there is no 86 bit OS, right? So what’s up with this? I googled, and I found.
Turns out ‘x86 is a series of computer microprocessor instruction set architectures based on the Intel 8086 CPU’ (Wiki) (the 80 in front was dropped later, we like things simple and short).
In regards to the confusion, we actually got this a bit backwards, it is not the x86 that is confusing us, but x64. Most x86 processors today on user machines are 64 bit. When the x86 series was extended to 64 bit, the name x86-64 was used- which is logical, but then unfortunately it was renamed to AMD64 and x64 by others (Oracle Corporation) and Microsoft).
Often x86 is used instead of the x86-32 extension, and x64 instead of x86-64. The naming confusion comes from pure lazyness :D Programmers, learn - don’t be laxy on the names ;) !
Last modified on 2012-11-14