Learning Resources
 

Classification of Computers


Types of Computers

1. Analog Computers
Analog computers are used to process continuous data. Analog computers represent variables by physical quantities. Thus any computer which solve problem by translating physical conditions such as flow, temperature, pressure, angular position or voltage into related mechanical or electrical related circuits as an analog for the physical phenomenon being investigated in general it is a computer which uses an analog quantity and produces analog values as output. Thus an analog computer measures continuously. Analog computers are very much speedy. They produce their results very fast. But their results are approximately correct. All the analog computers are special purpose computers.

2. Digital Computers
Digital computer represents physical quantities with the help of digits or numbers. These numbers are used to perform Arithmetic calculations and also make logical decision to reach a conclusion, depending on, the data they receive from the user.

3. Hybrid Computers
Various specifically designed computers are with both digital and analog characteristics combining the advantages of analog and digital computers when working as a system. Hybrid computers are being used extensively in process control system where it is necessary to have a close representation with the physical world. The hybrid system provides the good precision that can be attained with analog computers and the greater control that is possible with digital computers, plus the ability to accept the input data in either form.


Classification of Computers According to Size

1. Super Computers
Large scientific and research laboratories as well as the government organizations have extra ordinary demand for processing data which required tremendous processing speed, memory and other services which may not be provided with any other category to meet their needs. Therefore very large computers used are called Super Computers. These computers are extremely expensive and the speed is measured in billions of instructions per seconds.

2. Main Frame Computers
The most expensive, largest and the most quickest or speedy computer are called mainframe computers. These computers are used in large companies, factories, organizations etc. the mainframe computers are the most expensive computers, they cost more than 20 million rupees. In this computers 150 users are able to work on one C.P.U. The mainframes are able to process 1 to 8 bits at a time. They have several hundreds of megabytes of primary storage and operate at a speed measured in nano second.

3. Mini Computers
Mini computers are smaller than mainframes, both in size and other facilities such as speed, storage capacity and other services. They are versatile that they can be fitted where ever they are needed. Their speeds are rated between one and fifty million instructions per second (MIPS). They have primary storage in hundred to three hundred megabytes range with direct access storage device.

4. Micro Computers
These are the smallest range of computers. They were introduced in the early 70’s having less storing space and processing speed. Micro computers of todays are equivalent to the mini computers of yesterday in terms of performing and processing. They are also called “computer of a chip” because its entire circuitry is contained in one tiny chip. The micro computers have a wide range of applications including uses as portable computer that can be plugged into any wall.

5. Laptop Computers
The smallest computer in size has been developed. This type of small computers look like an office brief case and called "LAPTOP" computer. The laptops are also termed as "PORTABLE COMPUTERS." Due to the small size and light weight, they become popular among the computer users. The businessmen found laptop very useful, during traveling and when they are far away frm their desktop computers. A typical laptop computer has all the facilities available in microcomputer. The smallest laptops are called "PALMTOP".

 

Physical Size

Computers range in size and capability. At one end of the scale are supercomputers, very large computers with thousands of linked microprocessors that perform extremely complex calculations. At the other end are tiny computers embedded in cars, TVs, stereo systems, calculators, and appliances. These computers are built to perform a limited number of tasks.

The personal computer, or PC, is designed to be used by one person at a time. This section describes the various kinds of personal computers: desktops, laptops, handheld computers, and Tablet PCs.

Desktop computers
Desktop computers are designed for use at a desk or table. They are typically larger and more powerful than other types of personal computers. Desktop computers are made up of separate components. The main component, called the system unit, is usually a rectangular case that sits on or underneath a desk. Other components, such as the monitor, mouse, and keyboard, connect to the system unit.

Laptop computers
Laptop computers are lightweight mobile PCs with a thin screen. They are often called notebook computers because of their small size. Laptops can operate on batteries, so you can take them anywhere. Unlike desktops, laptops combine the CPU, screen, and keyboard in a single case. The screen folds down onto the keyboard when not in use.

Handheld computers
Handheld computers, also called personal digital assistants (PDAs), are battery-powered computers small enough to carry almost anywhere. Although not as powerful as desktops or laptops, handhelds are useful for scheduling appointments, storing addresses and phone numbers, and playing games. Some have more advanced capabilities, such as making telephone calls or accessing the Internet. Instead of keyboards, handhelds have touch screens that you use with your finger or a stylus (a pen-shaped pointing tool).

Tablet PCs
Tablet PCs are mobile PCs that combine features of laptops and handhelds. Like laptops, they're powerful and have a built-in screen. Like handhelds, they allow you to write notes or draw pictures on the screen, usually with a tablet pen instead of a stylus. They can also convert your handwriting into typed text. Some Tablet PCs are “convertibles” with a screen that swivels and unfolds to reveal a keyboard underneath.