protected mode - Computer Definition
(1) The native state of an Intel CPU, which provides access to all advanced memory management functions. It was introduced in 1982 with the 16-bit 286 chip, which was the first x86 chip to break the 1MB barrier of the original 8086/8088 architecture. See Real Mode, Virtual 8086 Mode, 32-bit processing and memory protection.
(2) (protected mode) May refer to memory protection or a type of secure environment. See memory protection.