Different Types of Computer :Based on Size,Purpose and Working Principal

Different Types of Computer: Based on Working Principal, Purpose and Size

Computer can be classified in many ways. The common way is to classify the computer according to working principle, purpose and size. There are different types of computer.
1. Types of Computer- Based on working Principal

  1. Analog computer
  2. Digital computer
  3. Hybrid computer

2. Types of Computer- Based on Purpose

  1. General Purpose Computer
  2. Special Purpose Computer

3. Types of Computer- Based on Size

  1. Micro Computer
  2. Mini Computer
  3. Mainframe Compute
  4.  Super computer

Different Types of Computer

      1.Types of Computer- Based On working Principal-

On the basis of working Principle the computer can be classified into three types:-

  1. Analog computer –
  2. Digital computer
  3. Hybrid computer

1. Analog ComputerIt is used to process analog data. Analog computer operates by measuring rather than counting. An analog computer measures continuous electrical or physical magnitudes like voltage, pressure, water flow etc.An analog computer has the ability to accept inputs which vary with time and intensity and directly apply them to various devices which perform desired operation. It produces output in the form of graph.
   These computer are mostly used in process control plants.

 2. Digital Computer-
A digital computer operates directly on decimal digit that represents either discrete data or symbols. It converts the data into digits and then all operations are done on these digits at extremely fast rates. Digit computer basically knows how to count the digits.
Computers used for business and scientific application are digital computers.

3. Hybrid Computer – Hybrid computer utilize the best qualities of both analog and digital computers. They are suited for situation where digital processing of data collected in analog form is desirable.
For example – in a hospital intensive care unit analog devices may measure a patient’s heart function, temperature etc. these measurements may then be converted into numbers and supplied to digital devices. Other areas are guided missile system new aircraft design etc .

2.Types of Computer- Based on Purpose

Purpose wise computer can be classified into two types::

  1. General Purpose Computer
  2. Special Purpose Computer

1. General Purpose Computer – Theses computer can store different programs and can thus be used in countless application. A General Purpose Computer  can perform any kind of jobs with equal efficiency simply by changing the application program stored in main memory.


2. Special Purpose Computer – A Special Purpose Computer is the one that is designed to perform only one special task. The program or instructions set is permanently stored in such a machine. It does its single task very quickly and it cannot be used for any other purpose.
These computers are often used to perform specific function such as controlling a manufacturing process or directing communications.

3.Types of Computer- Based on Size

Size wise computers can also be classified into four types-

  1. Micro Computer
  2. Mini Computer
  3. Mainframe Computer
  4. Super computer

1.Micro Computer or personal computers-
A microcomputer is a computer whose CPU is a microprocessor. A microprocessor is a processor all of whose component are on a single integrated circuit chip.
Personal computers are a kind of kind of micro computer. Personal computers are called so because they are designed for personal use of individual or individual small business units’ office automation unit or professionals. Pc can be used for variety of applications like computer literacy, fun and games, business applications, programming etc.
 Types of Micro Computer or personal computers
• Desktop Computer
• Laptop Computer
• Palmtop Computer,Digital Diary ,Notebook ,PDAs.

Some typical machines are– DCM Tandy, Apple- II, BBC Acorn, IBM-PC , Pentium.

2. Mini Computer – They are smaller version of the mainframes. Generally they offer the same computing power as bigger counterparts. The most important advantage of a mini computer over the main frame is that it is cheaper in cost smaller in size and reliable. It does not require air conditioning and can be operated in room temperature.
Main used of these systems is in education in local government word processing etc. in business they are being used for involving stock payroll etc. it is generally used as server system on networks with personal computers as nodes.

Some typical machines TDC 316, PDP 11/70, Honeywell (XPS-100), HCL-4.
3.Mainframe Computer – they are very big in size and offer the maximum computing power. A large number of peripherals can be attached to them. They are generally used in large networks of computers with the mainframe being model point of the network. They used satellites for networking.

A typical application is the airline system. It has a mainframe computer at their head office where information of all the fights is stored. Small computers are installed at the booking offices are attached to central data bank, so that up to date information of all flights is always available.
Some computers are – Univac 1100/10, Univac 1100/60, Honeywell DSP 88/860, IBM 270/168 etc.

Mainframe Computer

4.Super computer – They are most expensive of all the computers. These computers are big general purpose computers capable of executing more than 10,000 millions instruction per second and have storage capacities of millions of bits per chip. These computers are used to solve the multi- variate mathematical problems such as atomic nuclear and plasma physics seismology, aerodynamics etc.
Super computer are typically capable of handling hundreds of millions of floating point. Operations per second (MFLOPS). The speed of super computers generally measured in “FLOPS” (Floating Point Operations Per Second).
Super computers are used for highly calculation- intensive tasks such as weather forecasting, climate research, molecular modeling, physical simulation, and cryptanalysis and like military and Scientific agencies are heavy users.

Some super computers are – Cray 1, Cray 2, Cray 3 perform 10 billions operation per second, Param, Cyber 810&830 etc.

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