Types of Computer
We can categorize computer in three ways -:
- Based on Data Handling Capacity
- Based on Size
- Based on Purpose
Based on Data Handling Capacity
Based on Data Handling Capacity, computers are of three types -:
- Analogue Computer
- Digital Computer
- Hybrid Computer
1) Analogue Computer
Analog computers process Analog data. Analog data is continuous data that changes continuously and does not have discrete values. We can say that we use Analogue Computer when we do not need exact values such as temperature, speed, pressure, and current, etc.
Analog computers accept data directly from a measuring device without converting it to numbers and codes. Analog Computers measure continuous changes in physical quantities. Speedometer and mercury thermometer are examples of analog computers.
Uses and benefits of Analogue computers:
- Analogue Computer allows real-time operations and computation at the same time.
- In some applications, without the use of transducers, it helps to perform a calculation to convert inputs or outputs to the digital electronic form or to convert the digital electronic form to inputs-outputs.
- The programmer can minimize or maximize the problem for the dynamic range of Analogue Computer.
2) Digital Computer
Digital computers are designed to rapidly perform calculations and logical operations. It accepts raw data as digits or binary numbers (0 and 1) as input and processes it with programs stored in its memory to produce output. All modern computers like laptops, desktops, smartphones which we use at home and office are all digital computers.
Uses and benefits of Digital Computer:
- This allows you to store a large amount of information and extract it easily.
- Easily You can add new features to digital systems.
- Various applications can be used in digital systems by changing the program without making any changes in the hardware.
- Hardware costs have come down due to advances in IC technology.
- This provides high speed as the data is processed digitally.
- It is highly reliable because it uses error correction codes.
3) Hybrid Computer
Hybrid Computers have both Analog Computer and Digital Computer features. Hybrid Computers, fast like analog computers and like digital computers, have memory and accuracy. It can process both Continues and Discrete data.
It accepts Analog Signals and converts them into digital form before processing. Hybrid computers are widely used in applications where both analog and digital data are processed.
For example, a processor is used in petrol pumps that convert the measurement of fuel flow into quantity and price. Similarly, Hybrid Computers are also used in airplanes, hospitals, and scientific applications.
Uses and Benefits of Hybrid Computers
- It produces accurate and quick results that are more useful.
- It has the ability to solve and manage large equations in real-time.
- This helps in online data processing.
Based on Size
Depending on the size, computers are of 4 types:
- Main-Frame computer
1) Super Computer
Supercomputers is very fast, big, and very expensive computers. Supercomputers are very powerful computers, which can perform Trillions of instructions in a few seconds.
Supercomputers can store large amounts of data. Super Computer solves difficult and complex problems in a nanosecond, hence it is called supercomputer. PARAM, C-DAC, ANURAG are the supercomputers of India.
Uses and benefits of Super Computer:
- Super Computer is used for weather forecasting and for retrieving global climate information.
- This is used in military research and defense systems.
- Automobile is used for aircraft, and spacecraft designing.
- In studies of genetic engineering.
- Supercomputers are heavily used in digital filmmaking.
2) Main Frame computer
Mainframe computers are large computers that take up 1000 square feet of space. Mainframe computers are general-purpose computers designed to process large amounts of data.
Mainframe computers take a large amount of data from different terminals and can also process it at the same time. More than 100 users can use a mainframe computer simultaneously. Mainframe computers are used in large organizations when need to handle a lot of people simultaneously.
Examples of mainframe computers – IBM S / 390, IBM S / 709, ICL 39 |
Uses and benefits of Mainframe Computer:
- It is used in the bank.
- It is also used in marketing.
- Main-Frame computers are also used in air traffic control.
- Main-frame computers are also used for data processing in large organizations.
3) Mini Computer
A mini-computer is a middle-size computer. Mini-computer is very popular due to its size. It is also a multiuser computer which provides the facility of working to more than 12 people simultaneously. They are more expensive than microcomputers.
Examples of mini-computers – Multimedia, Graphics, 3D Graphic gaming computer, etc.
Uses and benefits of Mini computer:
- It is used to process complex data in university and middle-class businesses.
- These mini-computers are also used in scientific research and engineering analytics.
- For data monitoring and data control in the industry.
Today, more and more computers, which we use for general-purpose, are all micro-computers. This is a very popular computer, that is used to use higher-level applications very easily at home.
Examples of Micro-computer – IBM PCs, Apple Mac, IBM PS / 2, etc.
Based on Purpose
Depending on the purpose, computers are of 2 types:
- General purpose computer
- Special Purpose Computer
1) General Purpose Computer
The general purpose computer can store various programs and it can be used in countless applications. A general purpose computer can perform any type of task with equal efficiency by changing the application program stored in the main memory.
2) Special Purpose Computer
Special Purpose Computer is designed to perform only a specific task. The program or instruction is permanently stored in such a machine. Thermometers to test temperature, generators to manage electricity are examples of Special Purpose Computer. These computers are often used for Special purposes. It cannot be used for any other purpose.
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