There are three types of computers, and each is capable of doing unique things. They are separated by hardware and the manner data is processed. The three types of computers in question are Analog, Digital, and Hybrid. Each can be found in various industries around the world, your home, and even in your car. But hey, let’s go on ahead and focus on what these computers are all about.
Types of computers
These three types of computers are based on work, applications, and functions:
- Analog Computer
- Digital Computer
- Hybrid Computer
Difference between Analog, Digital & Hybrid computers
1] Analog Computer
An analog computer is a type of system that provides information in continuous form. These types of computers can only represent physical quantities such as pressure, weight, voltage pressure, speed, and more. Whatever information the analog computer outputs are usually shown on a graph.
These computer systems are useful in situations where data is accepted via measuring instruments, which means, there is no need to convert into numbers or any form of digital attributes. A speedometer is a great example of an analog computer, and the same can be said for the traditional thermometer.
Note that analog computer systems do not require any storage capabilities because they associate and measure quantities in a single process. In short, they are nowhere smart when compared to what we use today, but they do have their industries.
In the past, an analog computer was primarily used in scientific and industrial applications, and even after the rise of digital computers. This is because, in the early days of digital computers, analog systems were still much faster to operate. However, between the 1950s and 1960s, the analog computer system became obsolete as they could no longer keep up with the digital wave.
Electronic Analog Computers
For the most part, these computers are indeed, based on the specifics of analog. However, their components consist of capacitors, inductors, and resistors. Folks can model them by using equations of similar form. Furthermore, they are more useful than regular analog devices because they have an electric circuit.
The use of an electric circuit allows for simulation to move faster than ever before, which at the time was a huge benefit to the scientific community.
Now, if you are wondering what these computers look like, well, they have a lot of amplifiers and jacks. The switchboard of old was a great analog computer, but it lacked reliability when compared to what we have today. And that should not come as a surprise at all.
For example, we can find analog computers in oil refineries and the papermaking industries, just to name a few.
Some characteristics of Analog Computers
- Continuous values
- Small memory
- Slow speed
- Not as reliable
- Results are not accurate
- Difficult to use
Now you know what an analog computer is, let’s talk about Digital.
2] Digital Computer
When it comes down to representing numerals, letters, and other symbols a digital computer relies on digits to get the job done. The inputs here are ON and OFF, and the same goes for outputs.
In a typical case, ON is represented by 1, while off is represented by 0. As it stands, then, we can conclude that digital computers process data that is based on the existence or the absence of an electrical charge. In short, this is called binary 1 or binary 0.
For those who might want to process numerical or non-numerical data, a digital computer is more than capable of performing such tasks. Furthermore, such systems can perform arithmetic operations with ease, and in most instances, much faster than the human brain.
The man behind the first electronic digital computer is a man known as John V. Atanasoff. The device was built between 1939 and 1942, and his assistance was a German engineer who goes by the name, Clifford E. Berry. Konrad Zuse.
Right now, the most common digital computers are that of calculators and accounting machines.
Some characteristics of Digital Computers
- Discrete values
- Large memory
- Faster speed
- Very reliable
- Results are 100 percent accurate
Time to talk about Hybrid Computers, which are the most known around the world due to being widely used by consumers and businesses alike.
3] Hybrid Computer
When you think of a hybrid computer, what comes to mind? It should be a blend of analog and digital computers. Devices such as these have managed to combine the best features of analog and digital, making them super important in a number of areas.
In terms of where hybrid computers are used, well, they are mainly found in specialized applications that need to process analog and digital information. As you might guess, then, hybrid computers can process discrete and continuous data.
The entire world today relies heavily on hybrid computers, and this has a lot to do with their flexibility. A single hybrid computer can be used for various things. The same cannot be said for analog, but we should not forget of its contribution.
An example of a hybrid computer is the Intensive Care Unit (ICU) found in hospitals around the world. These devices use analog technology to measure temperature and blood pressure, and the data is then converted and shown in digital form on a small screen.
Hope the explanation was clear.