Difference between Analog and Digital Computer

Main Difference

Today like other inventions, computer has also become the part and parcel of our life. According to functions computer is of two different types, analog computer and digital computer. Both are used to perform and process the information or data and produce result in shape of output. The primary difference between analog computer and digital computer is that how they process and handle the data.

Analog Computer

analog-computerAnalog computer is that computer, which performs the functions continuously irrespective of variations in input, which can be in form of fluctuation in voltage or temperature, electrical or mechanical parts. Oscilloscopes, thermostat and thermometer are examples of analog computer. In start analog computer was used to measure the electrical signal, current, frequency of signal and voltage, resistance of capacitor, etc.  Working with analog computer is not so easy. Number of electrical and mechanical peripheral and supporting devices are required for it to function properly.

Digital Computer

digital-computerDigital computer is that computer, which performs and accepts the converted binary number data. Today most of the computers are digital computers. It is basically an electronic based computer. Rather than continuous its input functions works discretely. Input can be in form of letters, numbers written and represented in special binary coded languages. Micro computers, personal computers, network servers, super computers and multi processor computers are kinds of digital computer. It uses two binary code or digits 0 and 1, which stands for no and yes, false and true , left and right. All instructions given to computer are performed through these two digits.

Key Differences

  • Although digital technology is advanced and modern but analog technology still shows more precise and accurate output in compare to digital.
  • Digital computer shows result of input in form of computer display screen, monitor, CD or other peripheral devices while analog computer shows output in form of voltage signals and reading on connected meters.
  • If talk about electronic circuits, digital computer uses two switches on and off. While analog computer uses signals generators, op amps (operational amplifiers) and many resistors for flow of continuous signals.
  • Digital computer performs work discretely. But analog computer produces continuous voltage signals to perform continuously.
  • Today with invention of latest technology many digital computers are performing the functions of analog computers. While analog computers are not able to perform the same for digital computers.
  • Digital computers are widely acceptable and useable around the world. They are being used more than analog computers.
  • There is no concept of memory disc, drive or chip in analog computer. While digital computers obviously requires memory in shape of hard disk, flash storage or memory chip to perform.
  • Due to noise or disturbance in environment accuracy can be manipulated in analog computers while noise has no such effect on digital computers.

Video Explanation


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