Types of Computer
We can categorize computer in two ways: on the basis of data handling capabilities and size.
On the basis of data handling capabilities, the computer is of three types:
1) Analogue Computer
Analogue computers are designed to process analogue data. Analogue data is continuous data that changes continuously and cannot have discrete values. We can say that analogue computers are used where we don't need exact values always such as speed, temperature, pressure and current.
Analogue computers directly accept the data from the measuring device without first converting it into numbers and codes. They measure the continuous changes in physical quantity and generally render output as a reading on a dial or scale. Speedometer and mercury thermometer are examples of analogue computers.
Advantages of using analogue computers:
Types of analogue computers:
2) Digital Computer
Digital computer is designed to perform calculations and logical operations at high speed. It accepts the raw data as input in the form of digits or binary numbers (0 and 1) and processes it with programs stored in its memory to produce the output. All modern computers like laptops, desktops including smartphones that we use at home or office are digital computers.
Advantages of digital computers:
3) Hybrid Computer
Hybrid computer has features of both analogue and digital computer. It is fast like an analogue computer and has memory and accuracy like digital computers. It can process both continuous and discrete data. It accepts analogue signals and convert them into digital form before processing. So, it is widely used in specialized applications where both analogue and digital data is processed. For example, a processor is used in petrol pumps that converts the measurements of fuel flow into quantity and price. Similarly, they are used in airplanes, hospitals, and scientific applications.
Advantages of using hybrid computers:
On the basis of size, the computer can be of five types:
Supercomputers are the biggest and fastest computers. They are designed to process huge amount of data. A supercomputer can process trillions of instructions in a second. It has thousands of interconnected processors.
Supercomputers are particularly used in scientific and engineering applications such as weather forecasting, scientific simulations and nuclear energy research. The first supercomputer was developed by Roger Cray in 1976.
Characteristics or applications of supercomputers:
2) Mainframe computer
Mainframe computers are designed to support hundreds or thousands of users simultaneously. They can support multiple programs at the same time. It means they can execute different processes simultaneously. These features of mainframe computers make them ideal for big organizations like banking and telecom sectors, which need to manage and process high volume of data.
Mainframe computers are designed to support hundreds or thousands of users simultaneously. They can support multiple programs at the same time. It means they can execute different processes simultaneously. These features of mainframe computers make them ideal for big organizations like banking and telecom sectors, which need to manage and process a high volume of data that requires integer operations such as indexing, comparisons, etc.
Characteristics of Mainframe Computers:
Applications of mainframe computers:
3) Miniframe or Minicomputer
It is a midsize multiprocessing computer. It consists of two or more processors and can support 4 to 200 users at one time. Miniframe computers are used in institutes and departments for tasks such as billing, accounting and inventory management. A minicomputer lies between the mainframe and microcomputer as it is smaller than mainframe but larger than a microcomputer.
Characteristics of miniframe or minicomputer:
Applications of minicomputers:
A minicomputer is mainly used to perform three primary functions, which are as follows:
Workstation is a single user computer that is designed for technical or scientific applications. It has a faster microprocessor, a large amount of RAM and high speed graphic adapters. It generally performs a specific job with great expertise; accordingly, they are of different types such as graphics workstation, music workstation and engineering design workstation.
Characteristics of workstation computer:
Any computer that has the following five features, can be termed as a workstation or can be used as a workstation.
Microcomputer is also known as a personal computer. It is a general-purpose computer that is designed for individual use. It has a microprocessor as a central processing unit, memory, storage area, input unit and output unit. Laptops and desktop computers are examples of microcomputers. They are suitable for personal work that may be making an assignment, watching a movie, or at office for office work.
Characteristics of a microcomputer:
FAQs on the Types of Computers
1. What are the Three Main Types of Computers?
On the basis of data handling capabilities, the three main types of computers are:
2. What is a Workstation?
A workstation is a kind of computer that can be used for software development, desktop publishing, and creating engineering applications. Although a modest amount of processing power is present in a workstation, it has relatively good graphical capabilities.
3. What do you Understand by the Term Mainframe?
A mainframe is often very expensive and a very large type of computer. These kinds of computers have the potential to support hundreds and even thousands of people in one go. Furthermore, programs can run simultaneously, and concurrent execution is possible in mainframe computers.
4. What are the advantages of Analog computers?
The advantages of Analog computers are that it represents the data within the system's range and enables users for real-time computations. These as well carry out the calculations without using transducers. Analog systems come in different types, such as Hybrid computers, Digital computers, Castlerock, Electronic Analog computers, slide rules, and differential analyzers. Each of these has advantages and drawbacks of its own. Students who need a thorough explanation of each can go through these on Javatpoint website.
5. What are slide rules?
The simplest analog computer system is the slide. It is used to carry out numerous mathematical computations. These are made up of two rods. The rod slides off with the marking on the other rod when there any calculations are made. In contrast, differential calculations are performed using differential analyzers. These operate using a wheel and disc system. Through Javatpoint, where correct explanations are given that are simple for all pupils to understand, they can learn all the concepts easily.
6. What are digital computers?
All logical operations are completed quickly and efficiently by digital computers. They work with digital or binary numbers. One of the numerous benefits of digital computers is that they can store a large amount of data. Digital computers can simply add new functionality. The cost of these computers is quite low, and the data processing is done at high speed. The cost is quite low, and the data processing is done quickly digitally. For further information about the different sorts of computers, students can consult Javatpoint.
7. What are mainframe computers?
The mainframe is a type of computer that can be characterized as an expensive and substantial computer system. This is very powerful as they have the potential to support numerous users at the same time. These also facilitate different program executions. It provides great performance with extensive memory management and has a long lifespan. Another advantage of using a mainframe is that errors are often quite infrequent, but when they do occur, the system automatically corrects them. They also have a wide range of applications.
8. What do you understand about Hybrid computers?
Digital and analog computers are combined in order to create hybrid computers. Although the accuracy and memory are close to digital computers, the speed is similar to analogue computers. Before the process, these kinds of computers take the analogue signals and transform them into digital signals. These are typically used in specialist applications that combine analog and digital data. Hybrid computers have the capability to resolve complicated problems in real-time and contain a very high speed.
9. Which type of computer has two or more processors and it supports 4 to 200 users at one time.
A minicomputer is a multiprocessing computer of medium size. This type of computer has two or more CPUs and can accommodate 4 to 200 users in one go.