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The PDP-11 was a series of 16-bit minicomputers sold by Digital Equipment Corp. from 1970 into the 1990s, one of a succession of products in the PDP series. [1][2][2] The PDP-11 replaced the PDP-8 in many real-time applications, although both product lines lived in parallel for more than 10 years. The PDP 11 had several uniquely innovative features, and was easier to program than its predecessors with its use of general registers. It was replaced in the mid-range minicomputer niche by the VAX-11 32-bit extension of the PDP-11.

Design features of the PDP-11 influenced the design of other microprocessors such as the Motorola 68000; design features of its operating systems, as well as other operating systems from Digital Equipment, influenced the design of other operating systems such as CP/M[3] and hence also MS-DOS[4]. The first officially named version of Unix ran on the PDP-11/20 in 1970. The C programming language was written to take advantage of PDP-11 programming features such as byte addressing to rewrite Unix in a high level language.


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