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The Intel 8085 was an 8-bit microprocessor developed by Intel and released in 1976 and was an evolutionary successor to the popular 8080, which can be considered as the chip that launched the PC into the mainstream. The Intel 8085 was software-binary compatible with the older 8080, with only a few minor instructions added; however, it featured less support circuitry, which allowed for the creation of less expensive computers.
The Intel 8085 was one generation above the Intel 8080, with the "5" in its name actually indicating that it only needed a single +5-V power supply as opposed to the 8080, which needed both a positive and a negative 5-V supply, as well as another +12-V supply. This placed it on par with the Zilog Z80, an 8080-derived competitor chip that dominated the market just after its launch the year before.
The 8085 was compatible with the CP/M operating system and came in a 40-pin dual in-line package that multiplexed address buses in order to maximize the functions on the limited number of pins. It used a conventional von Neumann design that was based on the older 8080, but instead of multiplexing state signals on the data bus like the 8080 did, it multiplexed signals on the 8-bit data bus of the lower portion of the 16-bit address bus in order to arrive at the small pin count of 40.
Both the 8080 and the 8085 could not outsell the better performing Z80 on the PC and home computer market, but the 8085 found many uses in instruments, appliances and even in hardware used by NASA for early satellites and rovers. The Intel 8085 also found much use in the academe as an introduction to microprocessors because of its simplistic nature.