Re: A bit like a ... 386?
This part could describe any number of RISC machines but not an Intel processor. Intel x86 parts are the epitome of a CISC -- they're heavily microcoded and manage all sorts of instruction weirdness such as pre-bytes and variable instruction widths. (Something to do with being backwards compatible to the 1970s.)
Intel instructions typically work between a single register and memory. This, being a RISC, will move data between registers, something like result register is made from an operation involving two source registers. Memory access will require an address in a register with another register or part of the instruction providing an offset. They've got other properties like really,really, disliking accessing on non-machine word boundaries but all this is invisible to most programmers.
This is what makes the Intel part such an amazing deal. The x86 might be an architectural nightmare but its a highly developed, extremely sophisticated, architectural nightmare. To an end user "it just works" -- you get all sorts of crap included with the processor such as floating point and other dedicated instructions, memory management, virtual memory management, caches, all sorts of things thrown in with the part. In the embedded world (where space and low power is more of a premium) all this stuff is extra.