Another way to learn New Technology

Explain types of computer in detail

0 2,199

Explain Types of Computer in detail:


Computers classification can be made in the following points:

  1. Depending on their size.
  2. Their mode of use.
  3. Depending on their functionality.
  4. Their processing capability.

      A. Based on Size: 

  1. Supercomputers:

    The largest and fastest computers are supercomputers, which are mainly designed for complex scientific applications. It has many CPUs, which operate in parallel to make it as a fastest computer.
    Supercomputers are employed for specialized applications that require immense amounts of mathematical calculations. lt is typically used for the following applications :

  1. Weather Information
  2. Petroleum Exploration and Production
  3. Energy Management
  4. Defence
  5. Nuclear Energy Research
  6. Medicine
  7. Real time Animation
  8. Electronic Design
  9. Structural Analysis

Characteristics of Supercomputer:

  • They are very expensive.
  • Unlike conventional computers, they usually have more than one CPU.
  • They have a very large storage capacity.
  • Supercomputers are used for highly calculation-intensive tasks such as problem involving quantum physics, weather forecasting, climate research, molecular modeling properties of chemical compounds etc.
  1. Mainframe Computers:

    Mainframe computers are powerful computers used mainly by large organizations, typically bulk for data processing such as census, industry and consumer statics etc. These are very large and fast computers but smaller and slow than supercomputer. They are used in a centralized location where many terminals (input/output devices) are connected with one CPU and thus allow different users to share the single CPU. They have high memory and support thousands of users.

Characteristics of Mainframe Computers:

  • They can handle very high volume input and output (I/O).
  • They have greatest processing capability.
  • Mainframe system supports sophisticated operating systems like Linux, UNIX, IBM” operating systems like Z/OS, Z/VM and VSE/ ESA.

Applications of Mainframe Computers:

They are used for the following application:

  1. Railway and Airline Reservation
  2. Banking Application

Commercial applications of large industries.


It is medium scale, smaller and generally slower than mainframe computer. Like mainframe, they have many terminals which are connected with one CPU and can support many users. In size and power minicomputers lie between workstations and mainframes. The cost of minicomputer is less than mainframe. Therefore, it is mainly used in applications where processing can be distributed among several minicomputer rather than using a mainframe computer.

Characteristics of Minicomputers:

  • They are smaller in size than mainframe.
  • They are capable of standalone or self-contained operation.
  • They are used in applications that do not require the faster computation speeds.
  • They are much less expensive than mainframe.4. Microcomputers: It is a complete computer on a smaller scale and is generally known as Personal Computer.

Characteristics of Microcomputers:

  • They are small and light weight
  • They are portable
  • They are commonly used in business
  1. Based on Mode of Use:

 1. Notebook / Laptop Computers: Notebook/ laptop computers are light in weight, they contain 82-bit CPU, flat LCD screen, a trackball or touch pad. It also has a hard disk drive (HDD), a floppy disk drive (FDD), a compact disk (CD) / digital versatile disk (DVD) port for connecting peripheral devices.

It’s Characteristics:

  • These are portable computers.
  • Carrying a laptop means having instant access to various information.
  • Laptops/notebooks are several times more power efficient than desktops.
  1. Personal Computers: They are general purpose computer that fits on a normal size office table and is used by one person at a time.

It’s Characteristics:

  • A PC is non-portable.
  • It is used by one person at a time.
  1. Workstation: A workstation is a powerful computer than desktop computer. They are high end PC designed for technical or scientific applications.

It’s Characteristics:

  • They are used for tasks such as computer aided design, drafting and modeling.
  • They are used for image processing, architectural modeling, and computer graphics for animation and motion picture visual effects.
  1. Server: A server is a computer or a series of computers that link other computer or electronic devices together.

It’s Characteristics:

  • They often provide essential services across a network, either to private users inside a large organization or to public users via the internet.
  • Many servers have dedicated functionality such as web servers, print servers and database servers.
  1. Handheld / Palmtop Computers: Handheld/ Palmtop computers are those that literally fits in our palm. Palmtop uses a pen rather than a keyboard for input.

It’s Characteristics:

  • They are small in size.
  • Most palmtop computers do not include disk drives.C. Based on their Functionality:

 1. General Purpose Computers: General purpose computers are designed to solve a large variety of problems. They are capable of carrying out some general data processing under programmable computers.

It’s Characteristics:

 General purpose computers can store large amount of data and the programmes necessary to process them.General purpose computers are so versatile, most businesses today use them.

  1. Special Purpose Computers: Special purpose computers are designed to solve specific problems. The computer programme for solving the problem is built right into the computer.

It’s Characteristics:

  • Special purpose computers may be designed to process only numeric data or to completely control automated manufacturing processes.
  • They are used as training simulators.
  1. Based on Processing:

 Analog Computers:

Analog computers are special purpose computers that represent and store data in continuously varying physical quantities such as current, voltage or frequency. These computers are programmed for measuring physical quantities such as current, voltage or frequency. These computers are programmed for measuring physical quantities like pressure, temperature, speed etc. and to perform computations on these measurements. Analog computers are mainly used for scientific and engineering applications

It’s Characteristics:

They can handle continuous variables. The continuous variables include every conceivable Number, Even Irrational numbers.
They can work both mechanically electronically.

  1. Digital Computers:

    Digital computers are mainly general purpose computers that represent and store data in discrete quantities or numbers. In these computers, all processing is done in terms of numeric representation (Binary Digits) of data and information. Although the user enters data in decimal or character form, it is converted into binary digits (0’s and 1 ‘s). Almost all the computers used now a day are digital computers.

It’s Characteristics:

  • It works with discrete numbers. Discrete numbers are those which are either whole number or those which have sequence which repeat.
  • A digital computer can perform such tasks as to control industrial processes and regulate the operations of machines.
  1. Hybrid Computers:

    They exhibit features of both analog computers and digital computers. Hybrid computers incorporate the technology of both analog and digital computers. These computers store and process analog signals which have been converted into discrete numbers using analog-to-digital converters. They can also convert the digital numbers into analog signals or physical properties using digital-to-analog converters. Hybrid computers are mainly used in artificial intelligence (robotics) and computer aided manufacturing (e.g. process control).

It’s Characteristics:

  • A hybrid computer is less expensive than any equivalent digital computer.
  • Hybrid computer are used in scientific applications or in controlling industrial processes.