Types of Computer: A computer is an electronic machine that helps to process data. It is used to solve problems relating to almost all fields such as home, education, medical science and technology, research, designing, publishing, communication, etc. In this article, we are discussing the different types of computers based on computer size and data handling capabilities.

Types of Computer

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

Types of Computers based upon Size

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

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

A detailed discussion on all 5 types of computers based on the 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. 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.

5. 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 CPU(Central Processing Unit), memory(RAM and ROM), input unit, and output units. Examples of PCs are Desktop, Laptop, etc.

Types of Computers 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 on 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 an 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.

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Types of Computer

Ans. Hybrid computers are used for automatic operations.

Ans. British Scientist Charles Babbage was the first person to conceive an automatic calculator or a computer in 1833. He is also called the father of the modern computer.

Ans. Supercomputers are used for complex applications such as Global Weather Forecasting, Creating graphic images, engineering design and testing, space exploration, etc.

Ans. On the basis of size, there are 5 types of computers.

Ans. The 5 types of computer are Supercomputer, Mainframe computer, Minicomputer, Workstation and PC (Personal Computer).

On the basis of data handling capabilities, there are three types of computers which are Analogue Computer, Digital Computer, Hybrid Computer.

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