Intel introduces the 80386 microprocessor

17th October 1985
Intel introduces the 80386 microprocessor

On the 17th October 1985, Intel launched its new microprocessor, the Intel 80386. Also known as the i386 or Intel 386, it was a 32-bit microprocessor containing 275,000 transistors.

The launch date was selected based on the publication date of the October edition of Electronic Design magazine, which agreed to feature the Intel 386 on the cover.

After launching in October 1985, full-function chips were first delivered in 1986. Mainboards for 80386-based computer systems were at first expensive to buy, but prices came down after mainstream adoption. The first personal computer to make use of the 80386 was designed and manufactured by Compaq, but the 80386 was eventually used as the processor in many personal computers of the time.

In May 2006, Intel announced that production of the 80386 would cease at the end of September 2007. Although it had long been obsolete as a personal computer CPU, Intel and others had continued to manufacture the chip for embedded systems.

Related information:


  • Digital Design magazine cover, October 1985
    Credit: Morgan-Grampian. Images remain the copyright of the original copyright holder. Used under fair use policy for educational purposes only.

Related Items in the Collection:





Intel introduces the 80386 microprocessor

Click on the Images
For Detail


Help support the museum by buying from the museum shop

View all items

Founding Sponsors
redgate Google ARM Real VNC Microsoft Research
Heritage Lottery Funded
Heritage Lottery Fund
Accredited Museum