A microcomputer is an electronic device that is designed for individual use. The processor of a microcomputer is designed with an integrated circuit on a single semiconductor chip. Today we will be learning more about the microcomputer, its application, types advantages, and disadvantage.
- What is Micro Computer?
- Applications of Micro Computer
- History of Micro Computer
- Block Diagram of Micro Computer
- Types of Micro Computer
- Advantages and Disadvantages of Micro Computer
What is Micro Computer?
The term microcomputer is associated with computers that are smaller than minicomputers and are designed for personal use i.e., they can be used by a single user at a time. A microcomputer is designed using a single-chip microprocessor
Applications of Micro Computer
- Usually, microcomputers are more for personal use and they are hugely used for education and entertainment purposes.
- Apart from the personal used nowadays microcomputers are also used in business. After the introduction of microcomputers, the paperwork has been reduced massively.
- In banks, offices, enterprises, organizations the microcomputers are used to process and organize the data and even to personal short-term tasks.
- Microcomputers are even used for graphic designing, in architecture firms, etc.
- Nowadays retail sector also used microcomputers for billing, maintaining the product list, their sales, purchase, etc.
- Microcomputers are also used in the medical field such as to maintain the history of patients. They are even used with the machines like MRI i.e., Micro Instrumentation Telemetry Systems, sonography machines, etc.
- Even microcomputers are used in schools and colleges to deliver seminars on the projectors that are operated in collaboration with microcomputers.
History of MicroComputer
Microcomputers were evolved in the year 1970 with the advent of a microprocessor Intel 4004. It got upgraded over the years with the advent of Intel 8008 and intel 8080. This led to a revolution in the creation of microcomputers.
The first declared microcomputer was Micral that was designed by the French company named Realisation d’Etudes Electroniques. Micral was based on the Intel microprocessor 8008. Micral was the first non-kit computer.
Further in 1974, Micro Computer Machines Inc. has launched MCM/70 microcomputer designed using Intel 8008 microprocessor.
Although the Micral and MCM/70 were launched earlier Altair 8800 was appraised as the first successful non-kit microcomputer. Altair was designed by Micro Instrumentation Telemetry Systems (MITS). The microprocessor used in Altair was Intel 8080.
By the end of 1980s, the microcomputers were designed more for computer-based games and personal computing. And by the 1990s microcomputers were designed more compact to produce pocket-sized personal computing assistance.
Now a day the microcomputers come in the form of smartphones and they are even embedded in machines with artificial intelligence such as microwaves, washing machines, portable music players, etc.
Block Diagram of MicroComputer
The main processing unit of a microcomputer is the microprocessor. Microprocessors are implemented in the form of IC i.e., integrated circuits. The figure below illustrates the block diagram of a microprocessor.
The microprocessor is connected to the other components of the microcomputer with three buses:
- Data Bus: Databus is used to transmit data between the microprocessor and other components of the microcomputer.
- Address Bus: Microprocessor uses address bus to specify the address of memory location from where the microprocessor will read the data to where it will write the data.
- Control Bus: The control bus carries the control signals from the microprocessor to a microcomputer.
The other components of a microcomputer include:
- Operational Memory: The operational memory is comprised of RAM (Random Access Memory) & ROM (Read Only Memory).
- Input/Output Units: The input and output units are the ports through with the peripheral devices that are connected to the microprocessor and other components of the microcomputer.
- Peripheral Devices: The peripheral devices are used to enter the raw data into the processor to deliver the processed or computed data.
Types of Micro Computer
The desktop computer is the one that is placed on the table. It is connected to input and output devices such as keyboard, mouse, monitor, and CPU. The desktop is not portable as it cannot be moved and is restricted to a fixed area.
The laptop appears like a notebook and can perform complex functions like the desktop. The laptop runs on an in-built battery. Laptops are quite expensive and are available in various sizes.
The laptop has an inbuilt screen, keyboard, touchpad, and has an inbuilt processor. Laptops are portable as they can be taken anywhere and can run on the battery backup.
Tablet is a microcomputer that is smaller than a laptop and has a touch screen interface. This touch screen interface is used for both entering the data and for displaying the data. They operate on a chargeable inbuilt battery and are handy and portable.
Smartphones are a smaller form of a table as they also have a touch screen interface that can be used for performing both input and output activities. Smartphones are pocket-sized device that operates on an inbuilt chargeable battery.
PDA (personal digital assistant) is a portable handled computer. PDA is a small size microcomputer that can be carried along almost anywhere. PDA operates on an in-built chargeable battery.
We can even connect from other computers using the PDAs. In modern days PDAs have been replaced by smartphones.
6. Server Microcomputer
The server microcomputer serves the data to the computers that are connected to the server computer via network.
Whatever data is surfed on the world wide web is provided by the different server microcomputers that are present in the different locations of the world.
The workstation works similarly to the server. Workstations are meant for sharing data on the network at the workplace.
Advantages and Disadvantages of MicroComputer
- Modern-day microcomputers designed for common use are quite inexpensive.
- Maintenance of microcomputers is easy.
- Microcomputers can be easily connected to the internet and are therefore a good source of information.
- Internet-enabled microcomputer increases the user’s connectivity with other users all over the world.
- Microcomputers are portable and hence can be carried almost anywhere in the world.
- Microcomputers are able to perform a vast arrange of tasks.
- Microcomputers compute at a very fast speed. But still are slower than mainframe computers and supercomputers.
- Microcomputers’ connectivity to the internet raises several security threats.
After learning all about the microcomputer we can say that microcomputers are designed for individual use. They are becoming important for our day-to-day work such as sending emails, preparing presentations, playing games, even in the education sector, business, medical, etc.