Analog, Digital, and Hybrid Computer

The computer is an electronic device which input data from a user, process through CPU and give (produce) the result through output device to the user. On the basis of technology, computers are of three types: Analog, Digital, and Hybrid computers.

What is Hybrid Computer?

A hybrid computer is a computing system used in a large organization to solve technical, logical, complex differential equations. That has the combined features of both analog and digital computers.

A hybrid computer is a mix of digital and analog computers that incorporates the best aspects of both. i.e. Analog computer handle complex mathematical computations (problems), and Digital computers handle logical and numerical operations.

A processor, for example, is located in a petrol pump that transforms fuel flow calculation into quantity and price.

Similarly, In hospitals, a hybrid computer is used to track a patient’s pulse, to measure the heartbeat of patients, etc.

Characteristics of hybrid computer

  • Hybrid computers have combined quality of analog and digital computer.
  • These computers can process both continuous and digital data.
  • These computers have the capacity to convert analog to digital data & vice-versa.
  • Hybrid computers are the cost-effective method of performing complex solutions.
  • The cost of Hybrid computers is generally high.

Application areas of hybrid computer

Scientific Calculations, Gas Pump Station, Airlines System, Defense System, Petrol Pump, Weather System calculations, ATM, Hospitals, etc.

Advantages of Hybrid computer

  • A hybrid computer is a combined feature of both analog and digital computers.
  • It takes the speed of digital computers and the accuracy of analog computers.
  • It helps to solve complex real-time equations.
  • It is a cost-effective method of performing complex solutions.
  • These computers can convert analog to digital data & vice-versa.
  • Process quick and precise.
  • On-line data processing.

Disadvantages of Hybrid computer

  • It is very costly/expensive.
  • Before designing it, proper planning for using software, hardware, and other configurations.

What is Analog Computer?

An Analog computer is a special type of computer which works continuously to form and measure physical quantities such as length, height, and temperature, etc.

It can store analog data in continuous physical quantities like mechanical motion and electrical potential.

It is used in these areas, where to need data to be measure directly without transforming into a number.

Poster Many Sizes; Heathkit Ec-1 Educational Electronic Analog Computer  History Home Décor Vintage Sea Life Home Décor Posters & Prints
Analog Computer (Sound system Amplifier)

Example: speedometer and thermometer etc.

Characteristics of analog computer

  • It depends on continuous data.
  • Computers calculate natural and physical data.
  • No storage facility.
  • Accuracy is very low but faster than digital computers.

Application areas of Analog computer

Hybrid controller, Simulation of a spaceship, Simulation of a Car-Suspension System, Telephone lines, Television, Analog sound processor, Resistance of capacitor, etc.

Advantages of Analog Computer

  • Real-time operations allow several signal values to be manipulated at the same time.
  • Programmers can diagnose and correct problems in real-time.
  • Bandwidth use is reduced.
  • It produces results at a faster rate.

Disadvantages of Analog Computer

  • The dynamic range of computation operations is limited.
  • The size of the produced results can consume an excessive amount of setup time.
  • More energy is used.
  • Both components of problems operate on vastly different time scales.
  • The rate of signal conversion is higher, as seen within.

What is Digital Computer?

A digital computer is this type of computer which works on a discrete set of time, number, and figure. Four major parts in Digital Computer are Input, Processing, Output & Memory Devices.

Digital takes input and gives output within a fraction of a second. It performs logic, arithmetic operations, and processes in digital form (0101)binary digit( number).

Digital Computer
Digital Computer

Example: IBM PC, Smartphone and MAC, etc.

Characteristics of digital computers

  • It works on discrete data.
  • Used for general purpose.
  • Those computers are reliable and the accuracy is 100%.
  • Large storage capacity.
  • Digital Computers are programmable.
  • Slower than an analog computer.

Advantages of Digital Computer

  • Many technological, industrial, and economic developments that would not have been feasible without the use of Computer.
  • Cost-effective
  • more reliable, Flexibility and compatibility
  • Digital computer systems can make data storage easier than analog computer systems.
  • A digital interface can also be expanded with new functionality more quickly.

Disadvantages of Digital Computer

  • To accomplish the same tasks, digital circuits use more energy, resulting in more heat.
  • Since a single piece of digital data may be lost or misinterpreted, the value of large blocks of similar data can be completely changed.
  • A binary code is used to modify discrete elements of information in a digital computer.
  • During analog signal sampling, there may be quantization error.
  • The speed of digital computers is lower than analog computers.

Difference between Analog and digital computer

Digital Computers Analog Computer
Digital Computer works with digits. Analog computer works with physical or natural values like temperature and pressure.
It displays data in discrete form. It displays data in continuous form.
Signal’s type is sequences and voltage pulses. Components are logic gates, processors, and toggle switches.
It can be reprogrammed. Can’t be reprogrammed.
Accuracy is high rather than Analog Computer. Accuracy is low rather than a digital computer.
Results are obtained after the completion of the computation. The result is obtained continuously or concurrent.
Cost /expenses are high rather than Analog  Computer. Cost low/cheep rather than the digital computer.
Storage capacity is high. Storage capacity is low/No storage capacity.
It is used for general purposes. It is used for a specific purpose.
Slower than an Analog computer. It is faster than a digital computer.
Example: Personal computers, IBM PC, HP PC, camera and watches, etc. Example: Thermometer, clock, speedometer, telephone line, astrolabe, Oscilloscope, etc.
Difference Between Digital and Analog Signals
Fig. Analog & Digital Signals
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by Janak Saud
Author of Informer Guru, IT Student

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