Intel i860  
Written by Accutron on 2017-03-14  

Introduced in 1989, the Intel i860 (80860) is a 32-bit VLIW RISC microprocessor with an integral 64-bit FPU and graphics unit. Described by Intel as a "Cray on a Chip", The i860 was intended for use in supercomputers and high end workstations, competing against MIPS and SPARC processors from the era. Unfortunately, the i860 was plagued with performance problems related to its poorly optimized compilers. By the time its compilers had improved enough to provide reasonable performance, other RISC architectures had already surpassed the i860. The i860 failed to achieve commercial success, and was discontinued in the mid-1990s.

The i860 shown here is an A80860XR-40, a 40MHz variant packaged in a 168-pin ceramic PGA.

Intel i860 microprocessor, A80860XR-40.

This article is part of the [Digital Integrated Circuits] exhibit.

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