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Categories of Computers by size
Modern computer exists in a wide range of sizes and powers and different types of computer systems have varying abilities. In this generation, there is huge competition among the companies to launch small and fully satisfactory computers in the market. The demand for such computers is increasing because of their portability and networking benefits. The classification of computers varies with the improvement of technology. There are four types of computers on the basis of size
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They are small size, low cost, and single-user digital computer consists of a microprocessor. It has an input unit, output unit, storage unit, and software. It is designed for use by one person at a time but these days it has become a powerful tool for many businesses that, when connected together can serve more than one user. It is also called a Personal Computer. IBM PC, Apple Macintosh, smartphone, PDA, etc. are some examples of Microcomputers. Some of the microcomputers are given below: •Desktop Computers or Personal Computers (PC) •Notebook •Laptop or Notebook computers •Tablet Computer •Handheld Computers or Personal Digital Assistants (PDA) •Smart Phones
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Minicomputer is a mid-range computer built to perform complex tasks and calculations. They are generally used in a multi-user system and having high processing speed with greater storage capacity than microcomputers. It can support 2-200 users at the same time. The user can access the minicomputer through their PC’s or terminal. They are used in large organizations, universities and research institutes where the amount of data processing involved in huge. Some of the example minicomputers are PDP-8, HP 3000 series, IBM 8000 series, etc.
3. Mainframe Computers
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A mainframe computer is a large, expensive and ultra-fast, multiuser computer. These computers require a large room with an air conditioner. They have multiple processors. The user accesses the mainframe computer through a terminal that may be a dumb terminal, an intelligent terminal or PC. A dumb terminal doesn’t have storage or processing capacity, it has only input and output device only. The intelligent terminal has input, output, storage and processing capacity. Both of terminal uses the storage and processing power of the mainframe computer. Some examples of mainframes are IBMS/3909, Control Data Cyber (CDC)6600, IBMS/360, IBMS/370, etc.
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A supercomputer is an extremely powerful computer capable of manipulating huge amounts of data relatively in a short period of time. It has multiple processors functioning in parallel with high storage capacity. The speed of supercomputer is generally measured in “FLOPS” (Floating Point Operation Per Second). A supercomputer is used to design automobiles, aircraft, to forecast weather, to observe the behavior and evolution of stars and galaxies. It is also used by military for defense and encrypting purpose. Some examples of a supercomputer are IBM Roadrunner, IBM Blue gene and Intel ASCI red, PARAM Padma, etc.