What is Analog Computer: Definition, Examples, Types, Characteristics, Advantages

What is Analog Computer: Definition, Examples, Types, Characteristics, Advantages

What is Analog Computer

Definition: Analog computer is special type of computer, where to use data in continuously form, not discrete, and changeable continues stream of data is known as “Analog Data”. Analog computers can store analog data in the continuous physical quantities likes as electrical potential, fluid pressure, or mechanical motion, and finally it produces the result with using of measures.

Analog computers are used in such areas, where to need data to be measure directly without transforming into numbers. Analog computer uses the programs for transforming of problematic equations into analog circuit. 

Read More – Types of Computer and Their Functions

Types of Analog Computers

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  • Slide Rules
  • Differential Analysers
  • Castle Clock
  • Electronic Analog Computers
  • Mechanical Analog Computers
  • Pneumatic Analog Computer
  • Hydraulic Analog Computer

Slide Rules

Slide Rule is very simplest types of analog computer, and this computer helps to produce approximate result for simple mathematical operations. All users slide the hashed rod to line up along with several marking in the other rod, and it help to read this equipment depend on line up of different kinds of hash marks.

Differential Analysers

Differential Analysers computers were designed to solve for all differential equations. These computers had large size to modern computers, because today those computers fill space like as PC.

Castle Clock

Castle Clock has better representation of several uses to mechanical analog computers. Castle Clock analog Computer was developed by Al-Jarazi. This computer was able to store different programming commands. Castle Clock computer’s height was 11 foot, and it takes round of moon and sun. The computational part of this computer permitted users to set veriable length of the day depends on the running season.

Electronic Analog Computers

Firstly, Electronic analog computer was developed in USA, and initially they were used in the different missiles, airplane layout, and in flight simulator. Electronic Analog Computer contains thousands of vacuum tubes, but further some time replaced by transistors.

Latest analog computers are designed to use electrical signal flowing through several resistors and capacitors, instead of mechanical interaction of their components. The voltage of the signal produces the result in the form of graphic displays. Mostly, these types of computers are enabled for different computing and defense technology system.

Mechanical Analog Computers

Mechanical analog computers are designed along with different components such as gears and lever, in which not use electronic parts. It produces output while turning of gears, and it can perform multiplication and division operations. Examples are – Cosmic Engine, Pascaline, Stepped Reckoner etc.

Pneumatic Analog Computer

These computers use the compressed air in the form of power source that is very simple and inherently analog, and these computers mostly used in the nonresidential building areas.

Hydraulic Analog Computer

First, hydraulic analog computer was developed by Mihailo Petrovic Alas in 1868-1943. Firstly, main objective of designing of this computer is to solve the differential equations.

Analog Computer Function

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Analog computer works on the supply of

regularly flowing of electrical pulses, and show output continuously. For example – Side rule and speedometer of an automobile, they are displaying their results in real-time. But this device has less memory unit, so they are only capable to perform few types of calculations. Analog computer is very useful machine to solve the differential equations. The accuracy of result those machines are low but they are faster in speed to digital computers, and they are capable to compute all instructions in parallel form.

Components of Analog Computer

  • Precision resistors and capacitors
  • Operational amplifiers
  • Multipliers
  • Potentiometers
  • Fixed-function generators

Examples of Analog Computer

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Analog Computers are used in different application. Below all mention

  • Hybrid Controller
  • Simulation of a Spaceship
  • Mass-Spring-Damper System
  • Simulation of Car-Suspendion System
  • Simulation of a Moon-Landing
  • Squash Simulation
  • Longitudinal Aircraft Simulation
  • Lorenz Attractor
  • Joukowski Airfoil
  • Rendezvous Simulation
  • Vehicle Simulation
  • Doorknob and Lock
  • Thermometer 
  • Speedometer
  • Telephone lines
  • Resistance of Capacitor
  • Frequency of Signal and Voltage
  • Astrolabe
  • Oscilloscope
  • Television
  • Analog Sound Processor
  • Toilet Flush Mechanism
  • Delter
  • Kerisson predictor
  • Operational Amplifiers
  • Mechanical Integrators
  • Electric Integrators
  • Tide Predictors
  • Librascape and balancing computer

Characteristics of Analog Computer

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Here, we will spread light on various features and advantages of Analog Computer. Such as –

  • Real time operations- several signal values can be manipulated concurrently.
  • No need the transducers to transform input/output to digital electronic form.
  • Programmers can analysis the problems in real-time and fix them.
  • Less consumption of bandwidth.
  • It has more speed to produce result.
  • More accurately
  • All data is represented in continuously flow along with large range of machine.

Disadvantages of Analog Computer

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  • Computations operations have various limitations to dynamic range like as not more about 125 dB.
  • The size of generated results can be taken inordinate amount of setup time frame.
  • More power consumption.
  • Its result is displayed only in real time, so less probability to store its result for future uses.
  • All elements of problems work on the large different time scales, so it’s difficult to deal along with accurately values.
  • Signal conversion’s rate is higher, which are displayed inside.
  • Less possibility – upgrade to digital interface.

Analog Computer Vs Digital Computer

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Here, we will discuss about various differentiate between analog and digital computer in table form. Such as –

Analog Computer

  • It displays data in continuously form.
  • Its measurement unit is physical values like as temperature and pressure.
  • Its signal’s type is electromagnetic wave.
  • Transmission of analog signal works as without its content.
  • It does not contain its memory unit and computing terminals.
  • No having input/output devices
  • It enables physical devices to determine the continuously variable data.  For example – Thermometer
  • Examples are – Speedometer, telephone lines, Astrolabe, Oscilloscope
  • Applications are – Determine of several physical quantities and other scientific operations.
  • Components are resistors and capacitor.
  • Lack of abilities in all areas to digital computer
  • Slow speed
  • Need technical staff to operate it.
  • Need low level of electrical noise in the circuit to get accuracy.

Digital Computer

  • It displays data in discretely form such as “0” and “1”.
  • It transform all data into binary form (0 and 1), and then it executes all operations on them.
  • Its signal’s type is sequence of voltage pulses.
  • Its transmission is done with content of signal.
  • It contains memory unit for storing result.
  • Having input/output devices
  • It produces the text or visual output along with highly accuracy. For examples – monitor and printer.
  • Examples are – All Personal Computers like as IBM PC, HP PC, DELL PC, and more.
  • Applications are – Home Usage, small or large scale business and other personal usages.
  • Components are logic gates, processors and toggle switches.
  • It can emulate of all behavior of analog computers.
  • Faster to Analog computer
  • No need qualified staff to operate it.
  • No effect of electrical noise in digital computer

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