Monday, February 18, 2008

CLASSIFICATION OF COMPUTERS ACCORDING TO CAPACITY

The term "capacity" refers to the volume of work or the data processing capacity a computer can handle. Their performance is judged by the:

1. Amount of data that can be stored in memory
2. speed of internal operation of the computer
3. number and type of of peripheral devices
4. amount and type of software available for use with the computer

The capacity of early generation computers were determined by their physical size- the large the size, the greater the volume. In computer terms, size and speed of operation are at present proportionate to each other. Generally, though, recent, technology is tending to create smaller machines, making it possible to package equivalent speed and capacity in a smaller format.

Computer System Classification

1. MICROCOMPUTERS= The mass production of silicon chips since 1971 has made it possible to put a "brain"into all sorts of machines. One such machine is the microcomputer. This machines has takes fullest advantage of the use of large-scale integration on silicon chips. The microprocessors literally contain a computer on a chip that can pass through the eye of needle. Microcomputers memories are generally made of semiconductors fabricated on silicons chips. It is a digital computer system under the control of a stored program that uses a microprocessor, a programmable read-only memory (ROM), and a random-access memory (RAM), The ROM defines the instructions to be executed by the computer while RAM is the functional equivalent of computer memory.

2. MINICOMPUTERS= Technological advances in the 1960's enabled manufactures to respond to the growing demand for a similar stand-alone machine, the minicomputer, to handle task that large computers could not perform economically. Minicomputer system (or small mainframe computers) provide faster operating speeds and larger storage capacities than microcomputers systems. They can support a large number of high-speed input/output devices. Several desk drives can be used to provide online access to large data files as required for direct- access processing.

Operating system developed for minicomputer systems generally support both multiprogramming and virtual storage. This means that many programs can be run concurrently. This type of computer system is very flexible and can be expanded to meet the needs of users.

Minicomputers usually have from 8k to 256K memory storage locations, and a relatively established applications software. although the minicomputer is not as powerful as the medium or large-size computer, it is quite close.

3. MEDIUM-SIZE COMPUTERS= it provide faster operating speeds and larger storage capabilities than small computer systems. They can support a large number of high-speed input-output devices, and several disk drives can be used to provide online access processing. Also support both multiprogramming and virtual storage. This allows the running of a variety of programs concurrently.

Medium-size computer system are very flexible; they can be expanded to meet the needs of users. The possibility of increasing the data processing capability of a computer by adding devices, such additional memory, and other peripheral devices, is called expandability.

4. LARGE COMPUTERS=are the ultimate in system sophistication, flexibility, and speed. They usually contain full control systems with minimal operator intervention. Large computer systems range from single-processing configurations to nationwide computer based networks involving general large computers. Large computers have storage capacities from 512K to 819K, and these computers have internal operating speeds measured in terms of nanoseconds, as a compared to smaller computers where speed in terms of microseconds.

5. SUPERCOMPUTERS= The biggest and fastest machines today are the supercomputers that are used when billions or even trillions of calculations are needed. These machines are essential for applications ranging from nuclear weapon to accurate weather forecasting.

Supercomputers are machines that have capabilities far beyond even the traditional large scale systems. Their speed is in the 100-million-instructions-per-second range.

8 comments:

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