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Beginner to microprocessors on a quest to build a machine for my company; I have a few questions

I started out learning Microprocessors from the wide range of books available on the 8086 model. I've devoured more than 5 hefty books on the topic, but as I progress towards the learning of modern microprocessors, I'm noticing that there is an incredible lack of books available for the hardware, software, and the interfacing of them, such as the Intel Pentium dual-core processors and greater. Why are there not any for them? Because the machine I am making has a relatively higher power consumption than, for example, the controllers in your vehicles (mine takes advantage of high-voltage vacuum suction), I must resort to the use of microprocessors rather than microcontrollers. The machine I am making will be very simple to code. This is why I am programming it in Assembly Language. This way, I have a true understanding of what to do if anything goes wrong. Can modern assemblers like TASM, NASM, MASM, and MPASM create executable files which modern software can send to modern EPROMs which can be interfaced with the dual-core microprocessor in a similar way you interface it with an 8086 microrprocessor? Is there a comprehensive list of modern hardware devices that serve a particular function for modern microprocessors such as those akin to the Intel 8254, which connects a 16-key keyboard to a 7-segment LED display for the 8086 microrprocessor? Why aren't the older microprocessors available for purchase? I notice that all the modern ones are for "desktops". Do these have to be for computers or can you still use them for personal creation? Can I reprogram desktop microprocessors for very basic purposes? I don't need a multi-core processor, just a cheap and basic processor that my company can repurchase to replicate the machine. What must a manufacturer do in this case? Spend hundreds of dollars on microprocessors which are only used for very basic purposes, rendering most of the features on them useless? Surely, Intel took this into consideration, right?

Since there are no books I can find on the subject anywhere, is the whole concept of interrupts and decoders still in effect? I'm at a standstill in my learning. Guide me to the right direction please. You would think that the more advanced a topic gets, the more books there will be to cover the details of it. The data sheets which give a 2-line description of what a pin does appear to be quite vague. Ironically, there are fewer resources available than that of the 8086. Also, I'm assuming you provide 280 or so entry points on the D-type connectors for all the pins on modern processors. Is this true? Thanks for your help!

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3 Replies

Hello, GN-z11:

Thank you for contacting Intel Embedded Community.

In case that you need to acquire Intel legacy devices, we suggest you use the Legacy and End-of-Life Product Support website to verify their availability and where they can be acquired.

It is important to tell you that most of the legacy devices are out of interactive support.

On the other hand, the information that may help you to determine what is the device that better fit to your needs of the Embedded Processors and Chipsets released from 2008 to the first half of 2012 can be found at the Previous Generation Intel® Processor and Chipset Resources site.

The documentation of the platforms released from the second half of 2012 to nowadays is stated at: Intel® Atom™ Processors Deliver Maximum Performance Embedded Intel® Xeon® Processors for Multi-Core Computing Embedded Intel® Core™ Processors Featuring Intel® vPro™ Technology

In case that you want simple and low-cost solutions we suggest you the following options: Intel® Quark™ Microcontrollers Intel® Curie™ Module - Dev Kit The Intel® Edison Module The Intel® Joule™ Compute Module

The design guides (generally related to the acronym PDG) have the suggested recommendations to interface the Intel devices with others.

You can find more information about the software and architecture of the Intel (R) 64 and 32 devices can be found in the Intel® 64 and IA-32 Architectures Software Developer Manuals website.

Some of the documents require that you have an Embedded Design Center (EDC) Privileged account. In order to request an upgrade from your Basic EDC account to Privileged, go to and click on "Manage Your Intel Profile" found in the "Manage Your Account" section of the page. From there you can request an upgrade. The application can be found at:

In order to help you with the EDC account update process, we suggest you use a business email address to evade any inconvenience.Please avoid the free email provider's address (such the provided by Hotmail, Gmail, yahoo, or others).

We hope that this information may help you.

Best regards,

Carlos_A .

Community Manager

Thank you, Carlos.

I'm looking at the Intel Joule, for which I will have a few questions in a moment, but first I'm curious about whether I should be using microcontrollers or microprocessors for my project.

My company is suggesting that I use microprocessors, but the machine itself will have a very low computing power consumption (it's just cycling in rotations doing very minimal computations) and memory storage, and it will require a high voltage supply to a rotor for rotating a heavy mass and for a strong vacuum suction in 20-30 hoses. Can't a microcontroller simply flip off and on a switch to supply such a strong voltage coming from an external source?

If your suggestion is to still use the microprocessor for this project, are the development manuals you suggested in your post (located here: Intel® 64 and IA-32 Architectures Software Developer Manuals | Intel® Software) for Intel Joule as well? If you scroll down in the manuals, there is mention of relevance of the manual to virtually all pentium processors, but nowhere am I seeing Intel Joule listed among them.

If your suggestion is to use microcontrollers, are there any comprehensive documentations and developer manuals such as those contained in the link provided in this post?


Hello, GN-z11:

Thanks for your reply.

In order to help you please review the information stated at the Industrial Automation Applications website.

In case that you need a suggestion of the Intel devices that better fit to your needs, please fill out the Intel Contact Sales form.

On the other hand, your Intel(R) Joule(TM) consultations should be addressed via the Intel® Joule™ Forum.

We hope that this information is useful to you.

Best regards,