Computers can also be classified by the way in which they process data or simply by the type of data they process. In this context, here are the three broad types which are:
- Analog Computer.
- Digital Computer.
- Hybrid Computer.
Analog Computer – The analog computer processes data of continuous flow in nature such as speed, temperature, heartbeat, voltage, current and etc. They are mostly used in scientific measurement which may require it’s processing of continuous data. It can be seen in the hospital connected to a patient. It is also used in measuring quantity or volume, ex: car speedometer.
Digital Computer – This is the common type of computer. It is used in processing discrete data such as numbers and numericals coded characters. It uses binary digits (0’s and 1’s) to represent numbers, letters and special/distinct symbols. Most applications of this computer have to do with data processing. The ability of digital computers to handle alphabetic and numerical data with high speed and accuracy makes them suitable for mathematical, commercial and banking data processing. You are likely to see a digital computer in government offices, business organisations and higher institutions, the examples of these are personal computers (PC).
Hybrid Computers – In some situations, such as process control applications, there is a need to use both the analog and digital computers been given a task as the name implies, hybrid computers are the combination of both analog and digital facilities in one unit in order to solve a problem. The hybrid computer is best for solving problems of organisation and therefore not common.
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