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CLASSIFICATION OF

COMPUTERS

Classification of Computers
Computers are classified based on
Operating principles
Applications
Size and capability

Based on Operating
Principles
Based on operating principles computers
can be classified as:
Analog
Digital
Hybrid

Analog Computers
Data is represented in the form of continuous
electrical signals having specific magnitude.
Very fast.
Several operations carried out at same time.
Results are not very accurate.
Used to solve differential equations.
The electronic circuit is an operational
amplifier (OP-AMP)
It is made up of semiconductor integrated
circuits.

Analog Machines

Digital Computers
Called as Digital Information Processing
System
Stores and process data in digital form.
Data stored as 0s and 1s.
Output produced in digital form.
Can process analog data only after converting
to digital format.
Conversions are carried out by the in-built
components of digital computer
Faster, reliable, accurate results.
Used at homes, colleges, universities and in
small businesses

Digital Machine

Hybrid Computers
Combination of analog and digital.
Very fast, efficient and reliable.
Here data is measured and processed in the form
of electrical signal and is stored with the help of
digital components.
Used in performing complex simulation
Less expensive than digital computers.
Computers used in hospitals to measure the heart
beat of a patient.
Used in scientific applications, various engineering
fields and in controlling business processes.

Hybrid Machines

Based on Applications
Based on Applications computers are
classified as:
General-purpose computers
Special-purpose computers

General Purpose Computers


They are designed in such a manner they
work in all environments
Versatile
Store number of programs to do distinct
tasks
Not efficient
Consume large amount of time in
generating results

Special Purpose Computer


They perform only a specified tasks.
Not versatile
Speed and memory size depends on the
tasks
Less expensive
Efficient
Consume less time in generating results.

Based on size and


Capability
Based on physical size, performance,
and application areas, computer are
divided into four major categories:
Micro
Mini
Mainframe
Super

Micro Computer
A micro computer is a small, low cost digital computer.
Complete micro computer system consists of
A micro-processor, a storage unit, and an I/O channel.
Power supply and connecting cables, peripherals like keyboard,
monitor, printer, disk drives, and others
An operating system and other software program

Designed for individual users


Example: IBM-PC Pentium 100, IBM-PC Pentium 200 and Apple
Macintosh
Micro Computer include
Desktop
Laptop
Hand-held

Micro Computer - Desktop


Personal Computer (PC)
Consists of a system unit, a
display monitor, a
keyboard, internal hard
disk storage, and other
peripheral devices
Not expensive
PC manufacturers are
APPLE, IBM, Dell and
Hewlett-Packard

Personal
Computer

Micro Computers - Laptop


A portable computer
Called as notebook
Small computer enclosing all
the basic features of a normal
desktop
Advantage: can use anywhere
and at anytime
Do not need external power
supply
Have self-contained
rechargeable battery
Expensive compared to desktop

Laptop

Micro Computers Hand


Held

Personal Digital Assistant (PDA)


Convenient to be stored in a pocket
Small portable
Bigger than common calculators
I/P Device: Pen or Stylus instead of
keyboard
O/P Device: Small Monitor
Fitted on the palm, so called as
palmtop computers
Have no disk drive, use small cards to
store programs and data
Can be connected to printer or disk
drive
Have limited memory and are less
powerful
Example: Apple Newton, Casio
Cassiopeia and Franklin eBook Man

PDA
Personal
Digital

Mini Computers
Mid-range computer
Mini computer is a small digital
computer
Process and storage: Less than
mainframe but more than
micro computer
Speed of processing data: In
between mainframe and micro
computer
Used as desktop computer
Connected to mainframe to
perform the auxiliary
operations
Used in business as
(network/web)servers

PDP 11 Mini
Computer

Mini Computers
Mini computer is designed to meet the computing
needs for several people simultaneously
Capable of supporting from 4 to about 200
simultaneous users
Serves as a centralized storehouse for cluster of
workstations or as a network server
Mini computers are multi-user system
Used in interactive applications in industries,
research organizations, colleges and universities.
Also used for real time controls and engineering
design work
Widely used mini computers are PDP 11, IBM
(8000 series) and VAX 7500

Mainframe Computer

A mainframe is an ultra-high
performance computer made for highvolume, processor-intensive
computing
Consists of high-end computer
processor, with related peripheral
devices
Supports large volumes of data
processing, high performance online
transaction processing systems, and
extensive data storage and retrieval
Store and process more data than a
mini computer and far more than a
micro computer
Designed to perform at a faster rate
than a mini computer and at even
more faster rate than a micro
computer
Mainframes are the second largest (in
capability and size) of the computer
family, the largest being the super
computers

Mainframe
Computer

Mainframe Computer
Mainframes can execute many programs
simultaneously at a high speed, whereas super
computers are designed for single process
Mainframes allow users to maintain large
information storage at a centralized location and
be able to access and process this data from
different computers located at different
locations
Used by large businesses and for scientific
purposes
Example: IBMs ES000, VAC 8000 and CDC 6600

CDC 6600
Features:
60 bit processor and 10 "peripheral processing unit."
TheCDC 6600is a natural evolution of the
CDC 1604
Developed bySeymour Cray.
The machine developed a power of 4.58 MFLOPS.

CDC
6600

Super Computer
Super computers are
designed to maximize the
numbers of FLOPS (Floating
Point Operation Per Second)
Any computer below one
gigaflop / sec is not
considered a super computer
A super computer has solving
scientific and engineering
problems
Contains number of CPUs that
operate in parallel to make it
faster
Its processing speed lies in
the range of 400-10,000
MFLOPS (Millions of Floating
Point Operation Per Second)

Super
Computer

Super Computer
A super computer can process a great deal of
information and make extensive calculations very quickly
Can resolve mathematical equations in a few hours
It is the fastest, costliest and the most powerful
computer available today
Used to solve multi-variant mathematical problems of
existent physical processes, such as aerodynamics,
metrology, and plasma physics
Required by the military strategist to simulate defense
scenarios
Cinematic specialists use them to produce sophisticated
movie animations
Scientists build complex models and simulate them in
super computer
Largely used in entertainment/advertising industry
Example: CRAY-3, Cyber 205 and PARAM

Indias Super Achievement


The PARAM Padma Super
computer was developed by
Indias Center for Development
of Advanced Computer (C-DAC)
It marks an important step
towards high performance
computing
It promises processing speed of
up to one teraflop per second
(1 trillion processes per second)
The supercomputer can be
accessed remotely by users
wishingto analyze large
amounts of data, for example in
the fields of bioinformatics,
computational structural
mechanics, atmospheric
science and seismic data
processing

PARAM
Padma

CYBER - 205
January 1988 March 1989
1 CPU
0.2 Gigaflop/s
peak
performance
0.032 Gigabyte
memory

Cyber 205

CRAY-3

Cray 1, Cray 2 + cooling rack / Part of the Cray 3

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