IA-32 (Intel Architecture, 32-bit, sometimes called i386[1][2] through metonymy)[3] is the third generation of the x86 architecture, first implemented in the Intel 80386 microprocessors in 1985. It was the first incarnation of x86 to support 32-bit computing.[4] As such, "IA-32" may be used as a metonym to refer to all x86 versions that supported 32-bit computing.[5][6]


The IA-32 instruction set was introduced in the Intel 80386 microprocessor in 1985 and remains the basis of most PC microprocessors over twenty years later. Even though the instruction set has remained intact, the successive generations of microprocessors that run it have become much faster. Within various programming language directives, IA-32 is still sometimes referred to as the "i386" architecture.

Intel is the inventor and the biggest supplier of IA-32 processors. The second biggest supplier is AMD. As of 2013, Intel, AMD and VIA have moved to x86-64, but still produce IA-32 processors such as Intel Atom (N2xx and Z5xx series),[7] AMD Geode and the VIA C7 family. For a time, Transmeta and others, produced IA-32 processors.

See also


  1. ^ "DITTO". BSD General Commands Manual.  
  2. ^ "Additional Predefined Macros". intel.com.  
  3. ^ Kemp, Steve. "Running 32-bit Applications on 64-bit Debian GNU/Linux". Debian Administration. 
  4. ^ "Intel® 64 and IA-32 Architectures Software Developer's Manuals". Intel Corporation. Retrieved 16 May 2011. 
  5. ^ Doerner, Wendy. "What do IA-32, Intel® 64 and IA-64 Architecture mean?". intel.com.  
  6. ^ "Supported Hardware". Ubuntu Help.  
  7. ^ "Intel® Atom™ Processor Specifications". Intel website.