A digital computer having a microprocessor as its CPU, combined with memory and I/O devices forms a microcomputer. It is the smallest and less expensive type of computer. A typical microcomputer consists of a keyboard, a mouse, a monitor, and a system unit.
What is Microcomputer?
A microcomputer is defined as a small PC having a microprocessor that works as a central processor. A small handheld device that looks like a smartphone with a central microprocessor is an example of a microcomputer.
The first microcomputer was invented in 1972 by Bill Pentz Scientific. It was designed with the Intel 8008 at Sacramento State University.
Would you like to know what is the Microcomputer system?
Here a question arises in our mind that, What is a Microcomputer System? A microcomputer system is a complete computer made for on small scale, designed to be operated by an individual person at a time. It is smaller in size than the mainframe or minicomputer.
A microcomputer process its tasks using a single integrated semiconductor chip that works as a central processing unit (CPU). Normally microcomputers are used at home for personal use as well as in offices for business purposes.
Types of Microcomputer
A microcomputer is available in different forms, nowadays. here is the list of important types of microcomputers used in every field of life.
- Desktop Computer
- Mini Tower Microcomputer
- Full Tower Microcomputer
A desktop computer is a personal computer that handles complex operations and fit easily on your desk. This computer is heavyweight having components such as a separate screen, CPU, Keyboard & Mouse connected to the main unit via wires having USB connectors.
The size of Desktop computers is larger than notebooks and laptops. Desktop microcomputers are cheaper and more reliable than notebooks or laptops and can be repaired easily. Due to their large size, desktop microcomputers stay at one location, either in a home study or on a desk in an office.
Wi-Fi devices or Cables are used to connect this computer with the internet. Prepehrial devices such as microphones and webcams are used for video calling.
A laptop microcomputer is a laptop that is much smaller than a desktop computer powered by a battery and designed for low power consumption. A laptop looks like a briefcase and can easily fit on your desk or your lap.
Although laptops and desktop computers have the same functionality there is a great difference between them.
A laptop comes in one unit, with a thin display screen, keyboard touch, and touchpad used for navigation. Speakers are mounted into the unit. A laptop is a multi-tasking computer that is able to perform complex operations just like a desktop computer.
It is a portable microcomputer that can be carried out everywhere easily because of its lightweight.
Notebook computer just like a physical notebook having ultra-mobile3 inches thick screen with 3.5 pounds weight. This microcomputer can be great for commuters as they are powerful and lightweight. It is easy to carry a notebook computer from one place to another place as it fits easily into your briefcase. You can connect Notebook to the Internet by using a cable or Wi-Fi.
A smartphone is a cell phone that works like a computer and enables you to do much more than just making phone calls and send text messages. The smartphones are built up with very advanced technology that allows you to browse the Internet and run software programs like a computer.
A smartphone is a Multi-purpose phone that uses a touch screen for input. It is a Multi-tasking phone that can run thousands of smartphone apps including games, personal-use, and business-use programs.
The New generation Smartphone is used to send Emails, Listing Music, take pictures, and use Facebook and other social media apps.
A tablet is a wireless, portable personal computer just like a Mobile Device with a touchscreen interface. The tablet is smaller than a notebook computer but bigger than a Smartphone.
A tablet has the same features as a smartphone such as a Touch screen display, a power full Battery as well as run apps, supports calling, snipping pictures, and much more.
PDAs stands for Personal Digital Assistants, are very small networked computers that can easily fit inside the palm of your hand. The PDAs are much powerful as they are often used as a replacement for desktop or laptop computers. Most of the PDAs have converged into smartphones such as Apple iPhone and Blackberry smartphone.
Mini Tower Microcomputer
The main unit of a mini-tower microcomputer is designed like a small tower. Its elegant design allows you to place it on your desk with less space consumption than a desktop computer. Similar to a desktop computer, wires are the source of connection to peripheral components.
Full Tower Microcomputer
A full tower is a bigger version of the mini-tower microcomputer, wider and higher in size. The basic components of the full tower model include the motherboard, storage device, graphics card, and power supply mounted into a cabinet design.
It also allows you to add additional parts such as drive bays to enhance the speed and functionality of the computer. You can easily fix it underneath your desk or place it on the floor.
Uses Of Microcomputer
Microcomputers have become a part of our daily life. We use these computers every second of our life. We can see a huge number of microcomputers everywhere around us in School, Office, College, Restaurant, Railway Station, Hospitals and etc. Here are some common uses of microcomputers in our daily life.
Today, microcomputers are used for domestic affairs. They are used for online education, keeping thousands of book volumes worth of information, monthly expenses & income status. In addition, video game consoles and computerized electronics such as the “smart” TV are some of the most common examples of microcomputers at home.
Microcomputers are working as a fundamental component in the field of business. Almost every brand and company has its own computer network based on microcomputers operated by its staff. It becomes to reduces the paperwork & saves time spent on manual work.
It brings new innovations in the design and architecture of firms, film studios, and many other businesses. Different government institutions are using various software on their microcomputers to calculate tax returns, manage invoices, and sort out payroll.
Microcomputers are used as an essential component of online business stores like amazon, daraz .pk, Olx, and Fiverr. You can check your stock by sitting at home or office and get complete info of all items being sold & left.
Due to the recent Corona Virus (Covid-19), the traditional way of education has completely shifted to online education. In online education, a microcomputer is the only means to deliver. Today, in every school, college, and university, children are getting online education with microcomputers.
The large offices are being computerized nowadays. All the work from top to bottom is being transferred to microcomputers. You can do everything through these computers such as emails, printing, video calling, video meeting, and much more.
A smartphone is an advanced form of microcomputer that can perform all functions of a computer and cell phone collectively. It is very lightweight and intelligent like a desktop or notebook computer.
You can run any kind of apps on these computers. The Android operating system designed by Google has completely changed the shape and structure of the traditional software and brings a new innovation in the market.
The microcontroller is a type of microcomputer based on a single integrated circuit with pre-programmed functions. It is based on a CPU processor core, program memory, and programmable input/output connectors. These are used in implantable medical devices, power tools, office appliances, toys, and automobile engine control systems.
Microcomputers bring a change to the restaurant industry in big cities. With Micro-computers, you can order your favorite food online as well as get bills. Furthermore, you can watch the menu and select your required food item.
A few years ago, if you want to buy a ticket for a train or airplane, then we have to go on to the station, wait for hours in the line, and then get the ticket.
But now, thanks to microcomputers, you can buy tickets anywhere and anytime by sitting in any part of the world. If you visit a Bus Ticket Counters, Rail Ticket Counters, and Air Ticket Counters, you will see Microcomputers there as well.
Microcomputers also play an essential role in the medical field. From small private clinics to big hospitals, microcomputers are used to diagnose disease, manage patient histories Care plans, procedure scheduling, and much more work with the help of microcomputers.
Features of Microcomputer
Different types of microcomputers are used in our daily life based on their characteristics. Some important characteristics of microcomputers based on their work are given below:
- Have a fixed amount of input and output device
- Smaller in size and less expensive
- Has a limited storage capacity
- Fixed number of software can be installed
- Supports one user at a time
- Simple and easy to use
- Compute at low speed
- Mostly used for personal work
- Easily Maintainable
- No need for Ac to maintain the temperature
- If any part is damaged or destroyed, it can easily be replaced
- Available at low cost
Components of Microcomputer
A microcomputer is a programmable electronic device that accepts data as input, manipulates it, produces information as output, and stores it in their storage as needed. Major components of a computer are:
- Input device
- Output device
A hardware component that enables a user to enter data and instructions to a computer is called an input device. These devices are used to feed information or provide control signals to the computer. Some major input devices are explained below:
Keyboard: The user can use a keyboard to enter text. It contains alphabetic, numeric, and other keys for entering a different type of data.
Mouse: a mouse is a pointing device. It controls the pointer on the screen. The user also gives instructions to the computer through a mouse. It contains different buttons.
Microphone: The user can use a microphone to enter input in the form of voice into the computer.
Scanner: it read and scans the hardcopy and graphics and produces the results in digital form.
Digital Camera: we can use a digital camera to take and store pictures in digital form.
PC Camera: A PC camera enables a user to create a movie and take photos on the computer. furthermore, the user can also use it to make a video phone call.
A hardware component that is used to display the result of the processing to the user is called an output device. The major output devices are a monitor, printer, and speaker. Some major output devices are explained under:
Monitor: a computer can also use a monitor to display text, graphics, and video output.
Printer: if the user wants to get output in printed form on paper, then he can use a printer.
Speakers: the speaker is also a hardware component that almost produces output in the form of sound, music, and voice.
Central Processing Unit (CPU)
CPU is also called a processor. It is also the brain of the computer. It evaluates and executes the commands on the computer.
Memory is also an important component of a system unit. Memory is used in a computer to store data and instructions temporarily. Furthermore, it loses all its information when power is turned off. These chips are connected to a motherboard.
Types of Memory
Two types of computer memory are:
- Volatile Memory
- Non-Volatile Memory
A volatile memory retains data until the power is on. The data does not remain permanently in this memory. Data transfer rate is easy & faster than non-volatile memory. Volatile memoryless storage capacity but has a high impact on the system’s performance. The cost of volatile memory is measured per unit size.
Example: RAM is an example of a Volatile Memory
Nonvolatile memory retains data even the power is turned off. The data stored permanently but the access rate is slower. supply is not present. Non-volatile memory data is permanent. Non-volatile memory access is slower. CPU cannot directly access data from nonvolatile memory.
The Data storage capacity of this memory is very high. It has no impact on the system’s performance. The cost of volatile memory is measured cheap per unit size.
Example: ROM is an example of Non-Volatile Memory
Pros and Cons of Microcomputer
Advantages of Microcomputer
Some important benefits of microcomputers are as follows:
Small in Size: Microcomputers are small size computers as compared to mainframe & supercomputers.
Used For Making Apps: These computers are used for making different Android 7 Apple mobile apps & games. Nowadays apps are being used in every smartphone to ease the work. Every Smartphone user can download these apps from various app stores for fulfilling their needs.
Stock Exchange: A few years ago stock exchange business was totally managed on phone calls. But now, investors are using various software installed on their PCs used to buy/ sell stocks in the stock market.
Easily Maintainable: It is the most commonly used type of computer. So most people have an idea about how to fix a particular problem in the PC. If an error occurs and the system is not working properly, then you just need to reinstall the OS. It’s very simple to replace any hardware component of the PC as well.
Used in Businesses: Nowadays, each kind of commercial enterprise makes use of PCs for coping with their workplace paintings. All the information of the commercial enterprise is now saved on the laptop and in remote servers.
Accounting: Accounting software is run inside the PCs which makes financial reports of the company or any character. In stores, an accounting software program is also used for the everyday calculation of the goods.
Extensive Use: They are utilized by most customers at domestic. About 75% of united states of America residents use microcomputers at their domestic.
Research and Data Collection: College students and entrepreneurs use PCs for their studies paintings. People get information from the internet and then keep the information on a unique software program.
Connections With Humans: Now the arena is referred to as a global village. You can hook up with any person across the world and talk with any person via voice/video/textual content chat and emails. Now you can share your perspectives on any topic on-line.
Portability: Those computers are effortlessly transportable because of their small size. Inside the old days (1970-80) computer systems had been big and cover the complete room. They were no longer clean to transport from one area to every other. But laptops are smooth to move from one location to any other.
Low Value: Laptops had been expensive in preceding days however now computers are inexpensive and everybody can purchase them without problems. There are numerous forms of computing device computer systems depending upon processor type (i3, i5, i7).
For commonplace use, you could buy a cheaper computer that can do your not unusual works like internet surfing and looking movies. If you want to use a big software program then you will need better ability computers.
Perform Multiple Tasks: one laptop pc can be used for a couple of functions e.g. printing, scanning, browsing the internet, reserving tickets online, watching movies, logging of various users, playing video games, storing records, accounting, making games, apps, and desktop software program and many others.
Accurate Outcomes: Humans could make blunders inside the calculation however, the pc is a totally sensible system and it’ll supply the correct end result each time.
Disadvantages of Microcomputer
Some important drawbacks of microcomputers are as follows:
Least Powerful: Computers have low computational energy as compared to mainframe and supercomputers.
PC Addiction: Children and center age customers get hooked on games and net make use of. These activities have an effect on their day-to-day habits.
Less Storage Capacity: Desktops have less garage and for garage huge information you may need greater garage devices.
Weak in Performance: many laptops have low processors in order to impact computer overall performance e.g. gambling games and running huge software is hard on those pcs.
Negative Physical Effects: in case you use pc for a long time then you will get bodily effects like eye strain, neck pain, and returned hassle.
Tough to Upgrade: as laptop laptops have distinct motherboards for each sort of processor, so it is hard to improve pc for excessive overall performance.
Lack of Security: Hackers can hack your pc if it’s far connected to the internet and your sensitive facts can be stolen or lost by using a virus attack.
Public Safety: Now kids may have access to adult content material and those can view sensitive content that isn’t allowed via the authorities.
Examples of a Microcomputer
Microcomputers are available in different shapes and being an essential part of our daily life. We use these microcomputers for talking to each other, playing games, listening to songs, doing office work and much more. These computers are smaller in size and can easily be moved from one place to another very simply.
The most common examples of microcomputers are the latest desktop computers, video game consoles, laptops, tablets, and other handheld devices such as mobile phones, pocket calculators, and industrial embedded systems.
Q 1:- How many types of Microcomputers?
Ans:- The most common types of microcomputers are as follows:-
- Desktop Computer
- Mini Tower Microcomputer
- Full Tower Microcomputer
Q 2:- What is the definition of a Microcomputer System?
Ans:- A microcomputer system is a combination of different components including memory, input-output (I/O) devices, hard disk, floppy disks, a single-chip integrated controller & CPU.
Q 3:- What are examples of Microcomputers?
Ans:- The most common examples of microcomputers are the latest desktop computers, video game consoles, laptops, tablets, and other handheld devices such as mobile phones, pocket calculators, and industrial embedded systems, etc.
Q 4:- What are the important types of Microcomputers?
Ans:- A microcomputer is also called a PC or Personal Computer. The three most common types of Microcomputers are listed below:
Q 5:- What is the actual size of the Microcomputer?
Ans:- Microcomputers do not have a fixed size & available in different shapes. Based on its shape and function, a microcomputer cannot have a fixed size. For example, a desktop computer is larger than a laptop and takes more space.
On the other hand, a smartphone is very small in size and can easily fit in the palm of your hand. A pocket is enough to hold a smartphone.
Q 6:- Is Laptop a Microcomputer?
Ans:- Of course, the laptop is the most popular form of a Microcomputer.
Q 7:- What is called the heart of Micro Computer?
Ans:- A microprocessor is known as the Heart of the Microcomputer. A microprocessor is a very small chip present inside the CPU.
Q 8:- Which is the first Microcomputer?
Ans:- Altair 8800 was built in 1949. It was the first microcomputer commercial computer based on the Intel 8080 microprocessor.
Q 9:- Is minicomputer faster than a microcomputer?
Ans:- Minicomputers are very fast in speed than microcomputers.
Q 10:- Is the Smart Phone a type of Microcomputer?
Ans:- Yes, Smart Phone is an advanced type of microcomputer. Just like a computer, it also contains RAM, ROM, storage, and operating system.
Q 11:- What is the cost of a microcomputer?
Ans:- The microcomputer cost starts from starts 100 us dollars to onward.
I think you will learn almost everything about microprocessors as well as get answers to all your questions that are raised inside your mind. If you found this article informative, don,t forget to share it with your besties on Facebook, Twitter & WhatsApp. Still have any queries, please do write in the comment section.