Computer part 1 , Types of computer

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Types of Computer

The word computer has been derived from the English word ‘Compute’ which means “To Calculate”Computers can be of various types but broadly computers can be categorized based on their size and data-handling capabilities. On the basis of size, there are 5 types of computer and on the basis of data handling capabilities, there are 3 types of computer.

Types of Computer
Based on Size Based on Data Handling Capabilities
1. Supercomputer 1. Analogue Computer
2. Mainframe computer 2. Digital Computer
3. Minicomputer 3. Hybrid Computer
4. Personal Computer (PC)
5. Workstation

Types of Computer Based on Data Handling Capabilities

Based on Data Handling Capabilities, the computers can be divided into three types-

1. Analogue Computer

2. Digital Computer

3. Hybrid Computer

A detailed discussion of all 3 types of computers based on the Data Handling Capabilities is given below.

1. Analogue Computer

Analog computers are specifically designed to process analog data. It is a type of continuous data that continually changes and does not have discrete values. These types of computers are being used when the users are not familiar with the exact values like temperature, speed, current, and pressure.

An interesting feature of analog computers is accepting the measuring device’s data without converting it into relevant codes and numbers. This essential feature allows analog computers to measure continuous changes in physical quantity. Examples of analog computers are the mercury thermometer(used to determine the temperature of body, liquid, and vapor) and speedometer(Used for measuring speed.)

2. Digital Computer

These computers are designed in such a way that they can easily perform calculations and logical operations at high speed. Such a type of computer takes up raw data as input and processes it with programs stored in its memory to produce the final output. A Digital computer only understands the binary input 0 and 1, so the raw input data is converted to 0 and 1 by the computer and further processed by the computer to give the result or final output. Present-day modern electronic gadgets such as laptops, and desktops including smartphones are digital computers.

3. Hybrid Computer

Hybrid computers are devices that exhibit the features of both digital and analog computers. These computers have speeds similar to analog computers and are identical in respect of memory and accuracy to digital computers. Hybrid computers have the capabilities to process both discrete and continuous data. That is why these devices have specialized applications where both analog and digital data have to be processed.

Types of Computer Based on Size

Based on the size of the computers, the Computer can be of five types which are given below.

  1. Supercomputers
  2. Mainframe Computers
  3. Minicomputers
  4. Personal Computer (PC)
  5. Workstation

A detailed discussion of all 5 types of computers based on their size is given below.

1. Supercomputers

These are very powerful and biggest(in terms of speed processing data)computers and have more storage capacity. Supercomputers are the most expensive and the fastest computers and process the most complex jobs with very high speed.

In 1976, Roger Cray was the first discoverer of a supercomputer. These computers can be used in scientific research areas for analyzing data obtained from exploring the solar system, satellites, etc. Also, supercomputers can be used in the stock market or big organizations for managing the online currency of the world such as bitcoin, etc.

2. Mainframe Computers

These are large-sized computers. By Time Sharing and multi Tasking Techniques, more than 100 people can work at a time on different terminals of these computers. It runs fluently for a long time and has a long life. Mainframe computers are ideal for banking, telecom sectors, etc.

3. Minicomputers

These computers also known as mid-range computers or minis, are a type of multi-user computer that falls somewhere in the middle of the computational spectrum. The term “mid-range computer,” or simply “minis,” was coined to describe more powerful minicomputers that were capable of competing with mainframes. This type of computer is comparatively larger than that of microcomputers( Also called Personal computers).

4. Personal Computers (PC)

Personal computers are commonly known as Microcomputers. These computers are used by individuals, thus also called PC or Personal computers. These days PCs are largely used for domestic and official purposes etc. It consists of a CPU(Central Processing Unit), memory(RAM and ROM), input unit, and output units. Examples of PCs are Desktop, Laptop, etc.

5. Workstation

Workstations are computers that are designed to serve a single user and may include unique hardware advancements not present on a personal computer; currently, the phrase is used to refer to desktop PCs which also include high-performance hardware. These are generally used to perform a specific task with great accuracy.