Computer Generations and Computer Types

Computer Generations

The modern computer was not developed accidentally. It takes many decades and dedications of many computer scientists & inventors.

Over the decades, few generations have passed from the Analytical Engine of Charles Babbage to the modern computer era.

This infographic shows how the computer was developed over the time.

Computer Types

Computers can be broadly classified into six groups by their speed and computing power.

01. Super Computer

Summit – world’s fastest supercomputer to date. Owned by Oak Ridge and IBM.

Supercomputers are the fastest and the most expensive computers. They’re normally used to solve very complex science and engineering problems.

Supercomputers get their processing power by taking advantage of parallel processing; they use lots of CPUs at the same time on one problem. A typical supercomputer can do up to ten trillion individual calculations every second.

02. Mainframe Computer

IBM Z Systems – Z13 mainframe

Mainframe is very large in size and is an expensive computer capable of supporting hundreds or even thousands of users simultaneously. Mainframe executes many programs concurrently and supports many simultaneous execution of programs.

03. Server Computer

Dell tower server

A server is a central computer that contains collections of data and programs. Also called a network server, this system allows all connected users to share and store electronic data and applications.

04. Workstation

HP Z210 workstation computer

Workstations are high-end, expensive computers that are made for more complex procedures and are intended for one user at a time. Some of the complex procedures consist of science, math and engineering calculations and are useful for computer design and manufacturing.

05. Personal Computer (PC)

PC is an abbreviation for a Personal Computer, it is also known as a Microcomputer. Its physical characteristics and low cost are appealing and useful for its users.

Laptops are also a kind of personal computers!

Today a personal computer is an all rounded device that can be used as a productivity tool, a media server and a gaming machine. The modular construction of the personal computer allows components to be easily swapped out when broken or upgraded.

06. Mobile Computing Devices

mobile computing device (or hand-held computer) is a computing device small enough to hold and operate in the hand. Typically, any hand-held computer device will have a touchscreen interface with digital buttons and keyboard or physical buttons along with a physical keyboard.

Smart-phones and Tablets are mobile computing devices.
Smart-phones and Tablets are mobile computing devices.

Many such devices can connect to the Internet and interconnect with other devices via Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, cellular networks or near field communication (NFC).

Integrated cameras, digital media players, the ability to place and receive telephone calls, video games, and Global Positioning System (GPS) capabilities are common in such devices.

Power is typically provided by a lithium battery. Mobile devices may run mobile operating systems such as Android, Windows Phone and third party apps.