Types of Computers

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Types of Computers

A computer is a device that transforms data into meaningful information. It processes the input according to the set of instructions provided to it by the user and gives the desired output. Computers are of various types and they can be categorized in two ways on the basis of size and on the basis of data handling capabilities.

So, on the basis of size, there are five types of computers:


Mainframe computer



PC (Personal Computer)

And on the basis of data handling capabilities, there are three types of computer:

Analogue Computer

Digital Computer

Hybrid Computer

Now let us discuss each type of computer in detail:


1. Supercomputer:

When we talk about speed, then the first name that comes to mind when thinking of computers is supercomputers. They are the biggest and fastest computers(in terms of speed of processing data). Supercomputers are designed such that they can process a huge amount of data, like processing trillions of instructions or data just in a second. This is because of the thousands of interconnected processors in supercomputers. It is basically used in scientific and engineering applications such as weather forecasting, scientific simulations, and nuclear energy research. It was first developed by Roger Cray in 1976.

Characteristics of supercomputers:

Supercomputers are the computers which are the fastest and they are also very expensive.
It can calculate up to ten trillion individual calculations per second, this is also the reason which makes it even more faster.
It is used in the stock market or big organizations for managing the online currency world such as bitcoin etc.
It is used in scientific research areas for analyzing data obtained from exploring the solar system, satellites, etc.
2. Mainframe computer:

Mainframe computers are designed in such a way that it can support hundreds or thousands of users at the same time. It also supports multiple programs simultaneously. So, they can execute different processes simultaneously. All these features make the mainframe computer ideal for big organizations like banking, telecom sectors, etc., which process a high volume of data in general.

Characteristics of mainframe computers:

It is also an expensive or costly computer.
It has high storage capacity and great performance.
It can process a huge amount of data (like data involved in the banking sector) very quickly.
It runs smoothly for a long time and has a long life.

3. Minicomputer:

Minicomputer is a medium size multiprocessing computer. In this type of computer, there are two or more processors, and it supports 4 to 200 users at one time. Minicomputers are used in places like institutes or departments for different work like billing, accounting, inventory management etc. It is smaller than a mainframe computer but larger in comparison to the microcomputer.

Characteristics of minicomputer:


Its weight is low.
Because of its low weight, it is easy to carry anywhere.
less expensive than a mainframe computer.
It is fast.
4. Workstation:

Workstation is designed for technical or scientific applications. It consists of a fast microprocessor, with a large amount of RAM and high speed graphic adapter. It is a single-user computer. It generally used to perform a specific task with great accuracy.

Characteristics of Workstation:

It is expensive or high in cost.
They are exclusively made for complex work purposes.
It provides large storage capacity, with better graphics, and a more powerful CPU when compared to a PC.
It is also used to handle animation, data analysis, CAD, audio and video creation, and editing.
5. PC (Personal Computer):

It is also known as a microcomputer. It is basically a general-purpose computer and designed for individual use. It consists of a microprocessor as a central processing unit(CPU), memory, input unit, and output unit. This kind of computer is suitable for personal work such as making an assignment, watching a movie, or at office for office work, etc. For example, Laptops and desktop computers.

Characteristics of PC (Personal Computer):

In this limited number of software can be used.
It is smallest in size.
It is designed for personal use.
It is easy to use.
6. Analogue Computer:

It is particularly designed to process analogue data. Continuous data that changes continuously and cannot have discrete values is called analogue data. So, an analogue computer is used where we don’t need exact values or need approximate values such as speed, temperature, pressure etc. It can directly accept the data from the measuring device without first converting it into numbers and codes. It measures the continuous changes in physical quantity. It gives output as a reading on a dial or scale. For example speedometer, mercury thermometer, etc.

7. Digital Computer:

Digital computers are designed in such a way that it can easily perform calculations and logical operations at high speed. It takes raw data as an input and processes it with programs stored in its memory to produce the final output. It only understands the binary input 0 and 1, so the raw input data is converted to 0 and 1 by the computer and then it is processed by the computer to produce the result or final output. All modern computers, like laptops, desktops including smartphones are digital computers.


8. Hybrid Computer:

As the name suggests hybrid, which means made by combining two different things. Similarly, the hybrid computer is a combination of both analog and digital computers. Hybrid computers are fast like an analog computer and have memory, and accuracy like a digital computer. So, it has the ability to process both continuous and discrete data. For working when it accepts analog signals as input then it converts them into digital form before processing the input data. So, it is widely used in specialized applications where both analog and digital data is required to be processed. A processor which is used in petrol pumps that converts the measurements of fuel flow into quantity and price is an example of a hybrid computer.

Sample Questions
Question 1. On the basis of data handling capabilities, how many computers are there?

(A) 5

(B) 3

(C) 2

(D) None of the above


The correct option is B i.e., 3

On the basis of data handling capabilities, there are three types of computer which are Analogue Computer, Digital Computer, Hybrid Computer.


Question 2. Which computer can deal with analogue data?

(A) Analogue Computer

(B) Digital Computer

(C) both a and b

(D) None of the above


The correct option is A, i.e., Analogue computer

Analogue computer is particularly designed to process analogue data. A continuous data that changes continuously and cannot have discrete values is called Analogue data.

Question 3. __________ is also known as a Microcomputer.

(A) Supercomputer

(B) Minicomputer

(C) Workstation

(D) Personal computer


The correct option is D, i.e., Personal computer

Question 4. Which type of computer has two or more processors and it supports 4 to 200 users at one time.

(A) Minicomputer

(B) Personal computer

(C) Analogue computer

(D) All of the above



The correct option is A, i.e., Minicomputer

Minicomputer is a medium sized multiprocessing computer. In this type of computer, there are two or more processors and it supports 4 to 200 users at one time.

Question 5. All modern computers, like laptops, desktops including smartphones, are ______________computers.

(A) Hybrid

(B) Analogue

(C) Digital

(D) Supercomputer


The correct option is C, i.e., digital

Introduction to Types of Computer Language

The computer language is defined as code or syntax which is used to write programs or any specific applications. It is used to communicate with computers. Broadly the computer language can be classified into three categories:- assembly language, machine language, and high-level language. The machine language is considered as oldest computer language among all three.
In machine language, the input is directly given as binary input which is processed by the machine. Binary inputs mean one and zero form. For computer language processing the system needs a compiler and interpreter to convert the language into computer language so that it can be processed by a machine.

1. Machine Language

The machine language is sometimes referred to as machine code or object code which is a set of binary digits 0 and 1. These binary digits are understood and read by a computer system and interpreted easily. It is considered a native language as it can be directly understood by a central processing unit (CPU). The machine language is not so easy to understand, as the language uses the binary system in which the commands are written in 1 and 0 form which is not easy to interpret. There is only one language that is understood by computer which is machine language. The operating system of the computer system is used to identify the exact machine language used for that particular system.
The operating system defines how the program should write so that it can be converted to machine language and the system takes appropriate action. The computer programs and scripts can also be written in other programming languages like C, C++, and JAVA. However, these languages cannot be directly understood by a computer system so there is a need for a program that can convert these computer programs to machine language. The compiler is used to convert the programs to machine language which can be easily understood by computer systems. The compiler generates the binary file and executable file.

Example of machine language for the text “Hello World”:-

01001000 0110101 01101100 01101100 01101111 00100000 01010111 01101111 01110010 01101100 01100100

2. Assembly Language
The assembly language is considered a low-level language for microprocessors and many other programmable devices. The assembly language is also considered a second-generation language. The first generation language is machine language. The assembly language is mostly famous for writing an operating system and also in writing different desktop applications. The operations carried out by programmers using assembly language are memory management, registry access, and clock cycle operations. The drawback of assembly language is the code cannot be reused and the language is not so easy to understand.
The assembly language is considered a group of other languages. It is used to implement the symbolic representation of machine code which is used to program CPU architecture. The other name of assembly language is assembly code. For any processor, the most used programming language is assembly language.

3. High-Level Language

The development of high-level language was done when the programmers face the issue of writing programs as the older language has portability issues which means the code written in one machine cannot be transferred to other machines. This led to the development of high-level language. The high-level language is easy to understand and the code can be written easily as the programs written are user-friendly in a high-level language. The other advantage of code written in a high-level language is the code is independent of a computer system which means the code can be transferred to other machines.
The development of higher-level language is done for a programmer to write a human-readable program that can be easily understood by any user. The syntax used and the programming style can be easily understood by humans if it is compared to low-level

The only requirement in a high-level language is the need for a compiler. As the program written in a high-level language is not directly understood by the computer system. Before the execution of high-level programs, it needs to be converted to machine-level language. Examples of high-level languages are C++, C, JAVA, FORTRAN, Pascal, Perl, Ruby, and Visual Basic.

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