Hybrid computer, as the name suggests is the combination of two types of computer components – Analog and digital components. The Analog component is responsible to perform complex mathematical computations.
The Digital component carries out the functions of logical and numerical operations and is the controller of the system. Both these components when merged together solve a particular problem. The first desktop hybrid computing system was released in 1961 called Hycomp 250.
Hybrid computers make the complex functions much easier and time-saving as you get benefits of both in one system. A hybrid computer is designed based on the processing requirements in the field it is used in.
There is a huge difference between the hybrid systems and hybrid computers. The hybrid system only use analog to digital converters. Whereas a computer is said to be a Hybrid computer based on physical machinery.
Types of Hybrid Computer
General Purpose Hybrid Computer
These Hybrid computers have the ability to perform multiple tasks at once without hindering the other task. They have the ability to solve problems and improve system performance.
Special Purpose Hybrid Computer
These are designed and integrated in such a way that they use a specific program to solve a specific problem. It is designed on the basis of requirements of the field it is used in. It is included in the physical system like a function controller.
Large Electronic Hybrid Computer
These hybrid computers are far more superior as they are made by many different amplifiers in the 1960s. They are the most efficient and have the ability to solve complex differential equations.
Uses of Hybrid computer
1. In hospitals:
- The electrocardiogram machine is also a type of hybrid computer.
- It is used in Ultrasound equipment.
- A hybrid computer is also used to measure the heartbeat of a patient.
- In ICU.
- It is used in the CT Scan machine.
- In Laboratory
2. At petrol and gas stations:
- It used to measure the amount of fuel that is poured in and convert it into the currency the customer owes.
- It also used in gas stations for the same reason.
3. Used in ships
It is used in ships as it posses the ability to process data at a faster pace and provide accurate results. It also helps to obtain results for complex equations.
4. In Weather system computation
5. In Smartphones
The smartphone converts analog to a digital signal and then broadcast on the data network.
Cars use hybrid computers. Majorly in those that use gas and also in electric cars.
7. Defense sector
Hybrid Computer is efficient and has the ability to process the data at a fast pace and give accurate results. Hence useful in the defense sector.
8. Airline Sector
It does complex calculations in very less time which makes it perfect for flight simulations. Hence used in the airline sector.
9. To control industrial processes
Each hybrid computer is designed based on the requirements of industrial operations. These help the operators control the industrial processes without any hassle once programmed.
Advantages of Hybrid Computer
Hybrid computers are fast-paced and give the results in a fraction of seconds. This is mainly due to the all-parallel configuration of the analog system. Due to this are capable of solving complex computations in a matter of seconds and this is very useful in flight simulations. This is the best option to go for mainly when big equations are required to manage real-time.
Hybrid computers are known for their accurate and precise results. The reason behind this is the configuration of the digital component which runs the iterating process to provide an accurate result. It takes a long time when you use only analog or only digital computers. This combination of speed and accuracy in the hybrid computers makes it very appealing. Hence they are useful in airlines, weather system computation sectors.
On-Line Data Processing
Hybrid computers are used in hospitals for their ability to process the data and give accurate results almost instantly. On-line data processing is being explored further. As a result, it saves a lot of time between catheterization and result generation.
Many hospitals have already installed hybrid computers in the facility. This helps both the doctors and patients alike. As it helps the doctor in effective utilization of time by ruling out any waiting around option. The patient is also benefited as the results are faster. The treatment also starts on time which could have a major positive impact on health.
Disadvantages of Hybrid Computer
A hybrid computer is expensive compared to analog or digital computers. As it requires different networks, cables, and circuits which can be costly. For organizations, it may not be a problem but for an individual it is expensive.
As difficult as it is to design a hybrid computer based on the specifications needed, it is even more complex to install it. So bringing in all the software, hardware, and configuration to design this is a complex situation.