Evolution of Computers and its applications

Evolution of Computers and its applications

  • Blaise Pascal invented the first mechanical adding machine in 1642
  • Baron Gottfried Wilhelm von Leibniz invented the first calculator for multiplication in 1671
  • Keyboard machines originated in the United States around 1880
  • Around 1880, Herman Hollerith came up with the concept of punched cards that were extensively used as input media until late 1970s
  • Charles Babbage is considered to be the father of modern digital computers
    • He designed “Difference Engine” in 1822
    • He designed a fully automatic analytical engine in 1842 for performing basic arithmetic functions
    • His efforts established a number of principles that are fundamental to the design of any digital computer

    Some Well Known Early Computers

    • The Mark I Computer (1937-44)
    • The Atanasoff-Berry Computer (1939-42)
    • The ENIAC (1943-46)
    • The EDVAC (1946-52)
    • The EDSAC (1947-49)
    • Manchester Mark I (1948)
    • The UNIVAC I (1951)
    Computer Generation
    • “Generation” in computer talk is a step in technology. It provides a framework for the growth of computer industry
    • Originally it was used to distinguish between various hardware technologies, but now it has been extended to include both hardware and software
    • Till today, there are five computer generations

    Qus. What is volatile memory?

    Ans: RAM is known as Volatile Memory because when we switch off the computer its data is vanished.

    Qus. Define each of the following:

    (a) byte (b) kilobyte (c) megabyte (d) gigabyte (e) terabyte


    (a) byte: This is the unit of memory in computer. 1 byte = 8 bits

    (b) kilobyte: This is the unit of memory in computer. 1 kilobyte = 1024 bytes

    (c) megabyte: This is the unit of memory in computer. 1 megabyte = 1024 kilobytes

    (d) gigabyte: This is the unit of memory in computer. 1 gigabyte = 1024 megabytes

    (e) terabyte: This is the unit of memory in computer. 1 terabyte = 1024 gigabytes.

    Qus. State the basic units of computer. Name the subunits that make up the CPU, and give the function of each of the unit.

    Ans: Basic units of computer are Input Unit, Central Processing Unit and Output Unit. Sub unites of CPU are Arithmetical Logical Unit(ALU), Control Unit (CU) and Memory Unit(MU).

    Qus. What is the function of memory? What are its measuring units?

    Ans: The computer memory is a temporary storage area. It holds the data and instructions that the Central Processing Unit (CPU) needs. Before a program can run, the program is loaded from some storage medium into the memory. This allows the CPU direct access to the program. Its measuring units are byte, kilobyte, megabyte, gigabyte, terabyte etc.

    Qus. Why is primary memory termed as „destructive write‟ memory but „non-destructive read‟ memory?

    Ans: The primary memory is called destructive write because the data enter here are temporary. That‘s why your RAM gets cleared after every restart.

    Qus. What is the role of CPU of a mobile system?

    Ans: A mobile processor is found in mobile computers and cellphones. A CPU chip is designed for portable computers, it is typically housed in a smaller chip package, but more importantly, in order to run cooler, it uses lower voltages than its desktop counterpart and has more sleep mode capability. A mobile processor can be throttled down to different power levels or sections of the chip can be turned off entirely when not in use. Further, the clock frequency may be stepped down under low processor loads. This stepping down conserves power and prolongs battery life.

    Qus. What is SoC? how it is different from CPU? Why is it considered a better development?

    Ans: A system on a chip (SoC) combines the required electronic circuits of various computer components onto a single, integrated chip (IC). SoC is a complete electronic substrate system that may contain analog, digital, mixed-signal or radio frequency functions. Its components usually include a graphical processing unit (GPU), a central processing unit (CPU) that may be multi-core, and system memory (RAM). Because SOC includes both the hardware and software, it uses less power, has better performance, requires less space and is more reliable than multi-chip systems. Most system-on-chips today come inside mobile devices like smartphones and tablets.

    Qus. Briefly explain the basic architecture of a computer.

    Ans: Computer organization refers to logical structure of a computer describing how its components are connected to one another, how they affect one another‘s functioning and contributes to overall performance of computer.

    Computers follow the 'IPO' principal i.e. Input ->Process -> Output

    (That means a certain input is processed to Generate specific output)

    Qus. What do you understand by input unit? What is its significance? What does computer system consist of?

    Ans: Input unit is formed by the input devices(Keyboard, mouse, MICR, OBCR etc.) attached to the computer. Input unit is responsible for taking input and converting it into computer understandable form(the binary code). Some common input devices are:

    (i) Keyboard

    (ii) Mouse

    (iii) Microphone

    (iv) Scanner

    (v) Webcam

    (vi) Optical Bar Code Reader

    (vii) Optical Mark Reader

    (viii) Magnetic Ink Character Reader

    (ix) Touch Pad

    (x) Track Ball

    (xi) Joy stick

    (xii) Touch Screen

    (xiii) Biometric Sensors. Etc.

    Qus. What is the function of CPU in a computer system? What are its sub units?

    Ans: The central processing unit (CPU) of a computer is a piece of hardware that carries out the instructions of a computer program. It performs the basic arithmetical, logical, and input/output operations of a computer system. The CPU is like the brains of the computer - every instruction, no matter how simple, has to go through the CPU. So let's say you press the letter 'k' on your keyboard and it appears on the screen - the CPU of your computer is what makes this possible. The CPU is sometimes also referred to as the central processor unit, or processor for short. So when you are looking at the specifications of a computer at your local electronics store, it typically refers to the CPU as the processor. Its sub units are:

    (i) Control Unit (ii) Arithmetical and Logical Unit (ALU) (iii) Memory Unit

    Qus. What functions are performed by the control unit?

    Ans: The CU controls and guides the interpretation, flow and manipulation of all data and information. CU sends control signals until the required operations are done properly by ALU and memory. Another function of CU is the program execution. It means carrying out all the instructions stored in the program. CU gets program instruction from the memory and executes them one after the other. CU acts as a supervisor by controlling and guiding the operation taking place.

    Qus. Distinguish between CPU and ALU?

    Ans: Difference Between ALU and CPU is that arithmetic logic unit (ALU), another component of the processor, performs arithmetic, comparison, and other operations. While Processor also central processing unit (CPU), interprets and carries out the basic instructions that operate a computer.

    The main difference between CPU and ALU is that the CPU is an electronic circuit that handles instructions to operate the computer while the ALU is a subsystem of the CPU that performs arithmetic and logical operations.

    Qus. What is the function of output unit in a computer

    Ans: Input devices are the hardware that give computers instructions. Output devices relay the response from the computer in the form of a visual response (monitor), sound (speakers) or media devices (CD or DVD drives). The purpose of these devices is to translate the machine's response to a usable form for the computer user.

    Qus. Distinguish between internal and external memory.

    Ans: Internal memory is usually chips or modules that you attach directly to the motherboard. Internal Memory is a circular disc that continuously rotates as the computer accesses its data. External memory often comes in the form of USB flash drives; CD, DVD, and other optical discs; and portable hard drives.

    Qus. What are RAM and ROM? How are they alike? How are they different? What are PROM, EPROM, EEPROM?

    Ans: A ROM chip is a non-volatile storage medium, which means it does not require a constant source of power to retain the information stored on it.

    A RAM chip is volatile, which means it loses any information it is holding when the power is turned off.

    Both of them are known as primary memory as they can directly work with CPU.

    Read Only Memory (ROM)

    Programmable Read Only Memory (PROM)

    Erasable Programmable Read Only Memory (EPROM)

    Electrically Erasable Programmable Read Only Memory (EEPROM)

    Qus. What are major functional components of a mobile system?

    Ans: Major functional components of a mobile system are-

    (i) Mobile Processor

    a. Communications Processing Unit

    b. Application Processing Unit

    c. GPU (Graphics Processing Unit)

    (ii) SoC (System on a chip)

    (iii) Display Subsystem

    a. Display Screen

    b. Touch Sensitive Interface

    c. Touch Sensitive Keyboards

    (iv) Camera Subsystem

    (v) Mobile System Memory

    a. RAM

    b. ROM

    (vi) Storage

    (vii) Power Management Subsystem

    Qus. Draw a block diagram depicting organization of a mobile system.