CLASSIFICATION BASED ON SIZE AND CAPABILITY
Classification of digital Computer based on size and Capability:
Based on size and capability, computers are broadly classified into-
(a) Microcomputers(Personal Computer):
A microcomputer is the smallest general purpose processing system. The older pc started working on 8 bit processor with speed of 3.7MB and current pc works on 64 bit processor with the speed of 4.66 GB. Examples: IBM PCs, APPLE computers.
Microcomputer can be classified into 2 types:
The difference is that portables can be used while travelling whereas, desktops computers cannot be carried around.
The different portable computers are:
3. Palmtop (hand held)
4. Wearable computers
(i) Laptop: this computer is similar to a desktop computers but smaller in size. They are expensive than desktop. The weight of laptop is around 3 to 5 kg.
(ii) Notebook: These computers are as powerful as desktop but size of these computers are comparatively smaller than laptop and desktop. They weigh 2 to 3 kg. They are more costly than laptop.
(iii) Palmtop (Hand held): They are also called as personal Digital Assistant (PDA). These computers are small in size. They can be held in hands. It is capable of doing word processing, spreadsheets and hand writing recognition, game playing, faxing and paging. These computers are not as powerful as desktop computers.
Examples: 3com palmV.
(iv) Wearable computer: The size of this computer is very small so that it can be worn on the body. It has smaller processing power. It is used in the field of medicine. For example- pace maker to correct the heart beats. Insulin meter to find the levels of insulin in the blood.
(b) Workstations: It is used in large, high-resolution graphics screen built in network support, Engineering applications(CAD/CAM), software development desktop publishing.
Examples: Unix and windows NT.
(c) Minicomputer: A minicomputer is a medium-size computer. It is more powerful than a microcomputer. These computers are usually designed to serve multiple users simultaneously (Parallel Processing). They are more expensive than microcomputers. Examples: Digital Alpha, Sun Ultra.
(d) Mainframe computers: – Computers with large storage capacities and very high speed of processing (compared to mini- or microcomputers) are known as mainframe computers. They support a large number of terminals for simultaneous use by a number of users like ATM transactions. They are also used as central host computers in distributed data processing system.
Examples: IBM 370, S/390.
(e) Supercomputer: Supercomputers have extremely large storage capacity and computing speeds which are many times faster than other computers. A supercomputer is measured in terms of tens of millions Instructions per second (mips), an operation is made up of numerous instructions. The supercomputer is mainly used for large scale numerical problems in scientific and engineering disciplines such as Weather analysis.
Examples: IBM Deep Blue.