Types of Computer

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Now let us discuss the different types of computers that we see today. Although they belong to the fifth generation they can be divided into different categories depending upon the size, efficiency, memory and number of users. Broadly they can be divided it to the following categories.
1.Microcomputer: Microcomputer is at the lowest end of the computer range in terms of speed and storage capacity. Its CPU is a microprocessor. The first microcomputers were built of 8-bit microprocessor chips. The most common application of personal computers (PC) is in this category. The PC supports a number of input and output devices. An improvement of 8-bit chip is 16-bit and 32-bit chips. Examples of microcomputer are IBM PC, PC-AT .
2.Mini Computer: This is designed to support more than one user at a time. It possesses large storage capacity and operates at a higher speed. The mini computer is used in multi-user system in which various users can work at the same time. This type of computer is generally used for processing large volume of data in an organisation. They are also used as servers in Local Area Networks (LAN).
3.Mainframes: These types of computers are generally 32-bit microprocessors. They operate at very high speed, have very large storage capacity and can handle the work load of many users. They are generally used in centralised databases. They are also used as controlling nodes in Wide Area Networks (WAN). Example of mainframes are DEC, ICL and IBM 3000 series.
4.Supercomputer: They are the fastest and most expensive machines. They have high processing speed compared to other computers. They have also multiprocessing technique. One of the ways in which supercomputers are built is by interconnecting hundreds of microprocessors. Supercomputers are mainly being used for whether forecasting, biomedical research, remote sensing, aircraft design and other areas of science and technology. Examples of supercomputers are CRAY YMP, CRAY2, NEC SX-3, CRAY XMP and PARAM from India.

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