Define Computer. Classify the computers based on Speed, Storage, Price

01 a] Define Computer. Broadly classify the computers based on their Speed, Storage, and Price.


Computer is an electronic device for storing and processing data, typically in binary form, according to instructions given to it in a variable program

Apart from being classified by generations, computers can also be categorized by their size.
The size of a computer is often an indirect indication of its capabilities.


  • These are huge machines having the most powerful and fastest processors.
  • It uses multiple CPUs for parallel data processing.
  • Speeds are measured in flops (floating-point operations per second).
  • The fastest operates at 34 petaflops.
  • They are used for weather forecasting and analysis of geological data.
  • They have enormous storage, use more power and generate a lot of heat.
  • They are used by government agencies.


  • These are multi-user machines that support many users using the feature of time-sharing.
  • It can run multiple programs even with a single CPU.
  • The processor speed is measured in MIPS (Million instructions per second).
  • It is used to handle data, and applications related to organization and online transactions in banks, financial institutions, and large corporations.

Minicomputers/Midrange computers:

  • It was introduced by DEC (Digital Equipment Corporation).
  • They can serve hundreds of users and are small enough to partially occupy a room.
  • They are used in smaller organizations or a department of a large one.
  • They are not affordable to be used at the home.


  • The microcomputer or PC is introduced by Apple and endorsed by IBM.
  • This is a single-user machine powered by a single-chip microprocessor.
  • They are very powerful machines having gigabytes of memory.
  • They are both used in standalone mode and in a network.
  • A microcomputer takes the form of a desktop, notebook (laptop), or netbook (smaller laptop).
  • PCs today are powered by 3 types of OS – windows (7, 8, or 10), Mac OS X (Apple), and Linux.
  • They are used for engineering and scientific applications and for software development.

Smartphones and Embedded Computers:

  • The smartphone is a general-purpose computer i.e., capable of making phone calls. It has a powerful processor, with multiple
    cores, supports GBs of memory, and runs a developed OS (Android or iOS).
  • It can be operated with a keyboard, touch, or stylus.
    Embedded Computers or microcontrollers are very small circuits containing a CPU, non-volatile memory, and input and output handling facilities.
  • They are embedded into many machines that we use – cars, washing machines, cameras, etc.
  • The processor here runs a single unmodifiable program stored in memory.

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