I have Googled around and found a few references to this term, but nothing which defines what it actually means. Does anyone here have experience with such a device? What features must a processor have to be considered a 'Unix Processor'?


Since some people have taken issues with whether this is a real term, here are some snippets taken from Google scholar which include it:

The Sparc64 X design concept is to combine Fujitsu's Unix and high-performance computing (HPC) processor features to realize an extremely high-throughput Unix processor

Using one UNIX processor, it takes more than 400 hours to complete the imageodesy processing from one pair of cross-event ETM+ images.

The MmCP will be part of a multimedia workstation's architecture, sharing memory with the main UNIX processor.

Four additional megabytes of memory are dedicated to the UNIX processor, but the remaining four megabytes are shared between the UNIX processor and the CCD readout processor.

Unfortunately I don't have access to all of these papers, so I can't study them in more detail. But it would be nice if someone who has came across the term before would take the time to answer.

  • 2
    IMO that would be a processor lucky enough that nobody ported Windows for its architecture.
    – Anthon
    Mar 12, 2015 at 21:02
  • You're going to have to give people the context. Without it you're just asking people to define a random phrase that possibly denotes nothing at all. Setting my usual example aside, I point out that I can get Google to give me many snippets about "Unix cheese", but that does not mean that there is any such notion.
    – JdeBP
    Mar 12, 2015 at 21:16
  • Could you give a reference to where you found this term in the first place? Mar 12, 2015 at 21:18
  • 1
    @JdeBP, I actually got this from a CV that I'm looking at - 'tilization of a Unix Processor' is about all the context I have.
    – Graeme
    Mar 12, 2015 at 21:19
  • @countermode, besides my last comment, if you Google the term there are a few references to it. Eg there is an academic paper titled 'The Smart Port Card: An Embedded Unix Processor Architecture for Network Management and Active Networking', but it doesn't say much more about the term.
    – Graeme
    Mar 12, 2015 at 21:23

1 Answer 1


I think it dates back from the 80s when each Unix workstation/server vendor had its own version of Unix and its own processor architecture. Those processors, e.g. HP PA-RISC, DEC Alpha, IBM POWER, Sun SPARC etc were designed/built for Unix. The chips (and sometimes the hardware platform + OS) were/are referred to as "unix processors" e.g.:


The decision of AT&T and Sun Microsystems to collaborate in developing a Unix processor prompted other leading US computer manufacturers, including IBM, Digital and Hewlett-Packard,to establish the Open Software Foundation.


Minimum System Requirements
Unix Processor 200Mhz or higher for Unix Servers.


Intel processors now benchmark well ahead of any proprietary UNIX processor (such as SPARC or Power7+) on the SAP SD 2 Tier benchmark for 2 processors servers.

✴: The makers themselves also use the same term.

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