8086 Microprocessor is an enhanced version of 8085Microprocessor that was designed by Intel in 1976. It is a 16-bit Microprocessor having 20 address lines and16 data lines that provides up to 1MB storage. It consists of powerful instruction set, which provides operations like multiplication and division easily.

It supports two modes of operation, i.e. Maximum mode and Minimum mode. Maximum mode is suitable for system having multiple processors and Minimum mode is suitable for system having a single processor.

Architecture of 8086

The following diagram depicts the architecture of a 8086 Microprocessor −

8086 Microprocessor is divided into two functional units, i.e., EU (Execution Unit) and BIU (Bus Interface Unit).

EU (Execution Unit)

Execution unit gives instructions to BIU stating from where to fetch the data and then decode and execute those instructions. Its function is to control operations on data using the instruction decoder & ALU. EU has no direct connection with system buses as shown in the above figure, it performs operations over data through BIU.

Let us now discuss the functional parts of 8086 microprocessors.


It handles all arithmetic and logical operations, like +, −, ×, /, OR, AND, NOT operations.

Flag Register

It is a 16-bit register that behaves like a flip-flop, i.e. it changes its status according to the result stored in the accumulator. It has 9 flags and they are divided into 2 groups − Conditional Flags and Control Flags.

Conditional Flags

It represents the result of the last arithmetic or logical instruction executed. Following is the list of conditional flags −

  • Carry flag − This flag indicates an overflow condition for arithmetic operations.

  • Auxiliary flag − When an operation is performed at ALU, it results in a carry/barrow from lower nibble (i.e. D0 – D3) to upper nibble (i.e. D4 – D7), then this flag is set, i.e. carry given by D3 bit to D4 is AF flag. The processor uses this flag to perform binary to BCD conversion.

  • Parity flag − This flag is used to indicate the parity of the result, i.e. when the lower order 8-bits of the result contains even number of 1’s, then the Parity Flag is set. For odd number of 1’s, the Parity Flag is reset.

  • Zero flag − This flag is set to 1 when the result of arithmetic or logical operation is zero else it is set to 0.

  • Sign flag − This flag holds the sign of the result, i.e. when the result of the operation is negative, then the sign flag is set to 1 else set to 0.

  • Overflow flag − This flag represents the result when the system capacity is exceeded.

Control Flags

Control flags controls