The Intel 8088 was a computer processing unit (CPU) based on the 8086, with 16-bit registers and an 8-bit external data bus. The processor was used in the original IBM PC.

The 8088 was targetted at economical systems by allowing the use of 8-bit designs. Large bus width circuit boards were still fairly expensive when it was released. The prefetch queue of the 8088 is 4 bytes, as opposed to the 8086's 6 bytes. The descendants of the 8088 line include the 80188, 80288 (obsolete), and 80388 microcontrollers which are still in use today.

The most influential microcomputer to use the 8088 was, by far, the IBM PC. The original PC processor ran at a clock frequency of 4.77 MHz.

Apparently IBM's own engineers wanted to use the Motorola 68000, and it was used later in the forgotten IBM Instruments 9000 Laboratory Computer, but IBM already had rights to manufacture the 8086 family, in exchange for giving Intel the rights to its bubble memory designs. A factor for using the 8-bit Intel 8088 version was that it could use existing Intel 8085-type components, and allowed the computer to be based on a modified 8085 design. 68000 components were not widely available at the time, though it could use Motorola 6800 components to an extent. Intel bubble memory was on the market for a while, but Intel left the market due to fierce competition from Japanese corporations who could undercut by cost, and left the memory market to focus on processors.

A compatible replacement chip, the V20, was produced by NEC for an approximate 20 percent improvement in computing power.

See also List of Intel microprocessors