Types & Generations of Computers, Advantages & Characteristics

We can categorize devices in two ways: on the basis of capabilities and scale for data handling. Based on data handling capabilities, there are three types of computers:

  • Analogue Computer
  • Digital Computer
  • Hybrid Computer

Analogue Computer

The purpose of analog computers is to process analogue data. Analogue data is cumulative data that continuously shifts and is unable to have discrete values. We may assume that analog computers are used where specific values, such as rpm, temperature, pressure and current, are not always required.
Without first converting it into numbers and codes, analogue machines specifically accept the data from the standard measurement. They calculate the constant physical quantity changes and usually make output on a dial or scale as a reading. Examples of analog computers are speedometers and mercury thermometers.

Advantages of using analogue computers:

  • It enables simultaneous real-time operations and calculation and continuous representation of all data within the analog device’s fury.
  • In some applications, it requires measurements to be done without using transducers to transform the inputs or outputs into digital electronic form, and vice versa.
  • The programmer will scale the problem to the analog computer’s dynamic range. It gives insight into the topic and tries to explain the mistakes and their consequences.

Digital Computer

The digital computer is designed to execute high-speed calculations and logical operations. In the form of digits or binary numbers (0 and 1), it takes the raw data as input and processes it with programs stored in its memory to generate the output. Digital computers are also digital computers, such as laptops, desktops and smartphones that we use at home or at the workplace.

Advantages of digital computers:

  • It allows you to store a large volume of information and to access it easily if you need to.
  • You can easily add new features to digital systems with greater ease.
  • In digital networks, different programs can only be used by modifying the software without requiring any hardware improvements.
  • Because of the advances in IC technologies, the cost of hardware is lower.
  • It provides high speed as the data is digitally stored.
  • It is highly efficient because it incorporates codes for error correction.

Hybrid Computer

The hybrid machine has both analog and digital computer functions. It is swift like an analog computer and, like modern computers, has memory and precision. Data that is both ongoing and discrete would be stored.. Until processing, it accepts analogue signals and transforms them into digital form. So, in specialized applications where both analog and digital data is stored, it is commonly used. In petrol stations, for instance, a processor is used that transforms the fuel flow quantities into quantity and price. In cars, hospitals and in scientific applications, they are similarly identified.

Advantages of using hybrid computers:

  • Due to the all-parallel configuration of the analogue subsystem, the processing speed is very high.
  • It produces reliable and rapid outputs that are more precise and useful.
  • It has the capacity to solve and handle massive real-time equations.
  • It assists in the collection of data online.

Generations of Computer:

There are following kinds of computers on the basis of their generation.

Super Computers:

Supercomputers are very costly and very fast. They are the most powerful computers in the world that we’ve got.
In order to run only a limited number of programs, supercomputers are configured. This helps them to run these few programs at a very high speed. They are used in high-end locations such as in scientific research centers because of their inhibiting cost. There are thousands of processors in the supercomputer, enabling it to clock in at extremely high speeds estimated by petaflops.

According to the various parts and components used in their construction, these machine types are often very large in scale.

Tianhe-2, which is situated in the National Supercomputer Center in Guangzhou, China, is a good example of a supercomputer. It features 3.12 million cores, enabling it to run at 33.86 petaflop speeds.

Features / Applications of Super Computers:

  • For security purposes, it has the capacity to decrypt your password to increase safety.
  • This provides exceptional effects in animations.
  • It is used to conduct simulated nuclear weapons testing and critical medical tests.
  • It will study climate cycles and forecast weather conditions and understand them. It can function in the framework of NOAA (National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration) that can perform clear and rational data of any kind.
  • It helps to create flight simulators for beginner-level pilots for their preparation.

Mainframe Computers:

There are huge and costly machines capable of concurrently serving thousands of people. They are mainly used for bulk data collection, sensitive applications, and transaction processing by governments and major corporations. They are below the supercomputers ranked.

Applications of Mainframe Computers:

  • A massive volume of data, such as millions of transactions per second in the banking industry, can be stored.
  • There’s a very long life in that. After proper installation, it will operate smoothly for up to 50 years.
  • With large scale memory management, it provides excellent efficiency.
  • It has the capacity to divide its workload with other processors and input/output terminals or to transmit it.

Mini Computers

Mid-sized computers are minicomputers. They’re classified below mainframes in terms of scale and strength. A mini computer is a multiprocessing device capable of concurrently serving 4 to roughly 200 people. With the invention of microprocessors, the use of the term minicomputer has diminished. More generally, these devices are now called midrange computers.

Characteristics of Mini Computers:

  • It is medium weight, making it easy to carry anywhere and match.
  • It’s less costly than computers like mainframes.
  • Compared to its size, it is very easy.
  • It will continue to be paid for a long time.
  • It does not need an operating environment that is monitored.

Micro Computers

A microcomputer is intended to be used by one user at a time, often known as a personal computer. The term microcomputer refers to the microprocessor that is used for data processing purposes and the codes of instruction. This are the most reasonably available of machines, because they are not very costly.

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