What is Microcomputer? Definition, Types, Examples & Size

What is the Microcomputer?

In this hi-tech and digital era, we all are surrounded by digital gadgets. Humans need small, fast, inexpensive devices like computers, mobile phones, laptops, etc. Since the 1970’s computer evolution, humans trying to design such computers which are less power consuming, small in size, higher speed, and less expensive so that they can be affordable to all people. Through evolution in computers, scientists invented the microcomputer. A microcomputer is a small device like a computer with a small size, high processor speed, low power consumption, and less expensive. If the computer CPU is a single-chip microprocessor, then the computer is said to be a microcomputer. Microcomputers are designed for use by one person at a time. The microprocessor is an essential part of a microcontroller. 

History of Microcomputer

The first microcomputer was designed by Mers Kutt using Intel 8008 microprocessor. In 1972, a powerful microcomputer was designed, whose name was Micral-N with version Intel 8080. The microcomputer has memory, CPU, input, and output interface. In the 1970-the 80s, microcomputers become so popular. The years from 1971-1976 are known as 1st generation of microcomputers. 

Nowadays, There are different types of microcomputers available in the market. 

Different Types of Microcomputers.

  • Workstation
  • Desktop
  • Tablets
  • Smartphone

Workstation

A workstation is a high-performance personal computer with advanced graphics, huge storage capacity, and a powerful central processing unit.

A typical workstation example is a powerful Windows PC that can run complex data programs. These workstations we use in the corporate offices to share the data with the servers. All workstations in offices interconnect with other computers.

Different Types of Workstations.

  1. Linear workstation
  2. Single-seater workstation
  3. Cubicle workstation
  4. Designer workstation
  5. L shaped workstation

Advantages of Workstation

  1. It has high RAM, which works faster compared to other microcomputers.
  2. Easy to customize.
  3. Massive productivity.
  4. It has various functionalities that make it more powerful.
  5. It is expandable and reliable.

Disadvantages of Workstation

  1. More expensive compared to other microcomputers.
  2. Due to high RAM, hard drives, and multiprocessors, the power consumption is massive.

Desktop

A device that is designed for a personal task, which fits on a typical office desk. The desktop runs with input devices like a monitor, mouse, and keyboard. We can connect these desktops with internet service through LAN or Wi-Fi. 

Advantages of the Desktop

  1. Easy to customize.
  2. Less expensive.
  3. We can do web browsing on the desktop.
  4. Easy to access web-based applications on the desktop.
  5. Able to process photos and documents.
  6. The desktop has a video and audio player.
  7. Lower power consumption.

Disadvantages of Desktops

  1. Occupy more space.
  2. Handling is difficult.

Read More- 20 Important parts of the Computer, their Names, Functions & Diagram

Tablets

It is a portable microcomputer device that can perform all the functions that a computer and laptop do. Today, 32 to 35 % of people around the globe use tablet as it is compact than laptops. We can carry them in our bags anywhere and anytime. These tablets come with a touch screen and an unbreakable screen. 

Smartphones

It is a new era in the digital world, where people requires smart devices which are fast and compact. The smartphone is the best example of a microcomputer. With it, we can make voice calls and video calls.

A smartphone combines mobile telephone and computing functions into the one-small unit. A typical smartphone has a touchscreen display and an operating system capable of running downloaded application packages.

The smartphone is the same as a desktop with a smaller size, lighter weight, high battery performance, and portable. A smartphone can fit into your pocket. With smartphones, we can connect to the world easily.

Advantages of a Smartphone

  1. Easy for web surfing.
  2. We can make voice and video calls easily.
  3. Have GPS access.
  4. Good in the education system.
  5. We can play games on a smartphone.
  6. Best for entertainment as it has a video and audio player.

Disadvantages of Smartphones

  1. Smartphone causes distraction.
  2. Due to smartphones, we might get health problems like back pain, etc.
  3. A smartphone is an addictive device.
  4. Risk to data loss
  5. Uncensored content.

Microcomputer Applications

In industry

Some industrial products use microcomputer devices to control the internal system. These products are cars, boats, planes, trucks, heavy machines, elevators, computer servers, and security systems. Microcomputers also in automation testing of products, televisions, satellite communication, home appliances, etc.

Business

In business, microcomputers are used for word processing, spreadsheets, database management systems, decision support system, graphics designing, communication, networking, software, office automation, etc.

Healthcare

The microcomputer is used in healthcare to process the data received from measuring machines like ECG, heart rate modulators, and X-ray machines. Microcomputers also use to control lab equipment. Microcomputers use to store or maintain the patient’s health record to analyze the data further if needed. 

Education

In education, the microcomputer is for communication, processing the student’s data, developing applications, digital education, online classes, better presentation of information, and research in projects and assignments.

Advantages of Microcomputers

  1. It has high speed due to its microprocessor.
  2. Small in size.
  3. Better for scientific and complex calculations.
  4. Better in file handling and database management.
  5. It can run different types of software on it.
  6. Easy to use.
  7. It was an innovative and good-looking design.
  8. Better shelf life.
  9. Most microcomputers are portable.
  10. Less expensive and affordable for anyone.
  11. The power consumption is less.
  12. Easy to maintain in all aspects.

Disadvantages of Microcomputers

  1. Data security is the biggest concern as it connects to the internet and gets numerous security threats.
  2. As the storage and RAM increase, the cost increases.
  3. Chances of becoming an addiction.
  4. The content on the internet is uncensored and can be harmful to us.
  5. Chances of getting health issues like eye, neck, and back pain.  

Conclusion

As the need for microcomputers increases, more innovations are happening in microcomputers to make them smaller, inexpensive, ready, and easy to use. We can see right now smartwatches, smart glasses, Alexa, and many more, which are easy to use and compact in size. So, get ready for unbelievable innovations in microcomputers in the future. 

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