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A look at the die of the 8086 processor

The Intel 8086 microprocessor was introduced 42 years ago this month,1 so I made some high-res die photos of the chip to celebrate. The 8086 is one of the most influential chips ever created; it started the x86 architecture that still dominates desktop and server computing today. By looking at the chip’s silicon, we can see the internal features of this chip.

The photo below shows the die of the 8086. In this photo, the chip’s metal layer is visible, mostly obscuring the silicon underneath. Around the edges of the die, thin bond wires provide connections between pads on the chip and the external pins. (The power and ground pads each have two bond wires to support the higher current.) The chip was complex for its time, containing 29,000 transistors.”

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