The first programmable electronic machine (computer) was proposed by Charles Babbage. He is considered as the ‘father of computers’. Then ENAIC was discovered by two scientists named: John Mauchly and J. Presper Eckert in the year 1946.
Can anyone imagine, what may be the size of the computer then? How much space it required to fit in a place? Compared to today’s devices, which fits in an individual’s hand, the initial system developed, were huge. Huge in the sense, they took the space of a complete one big room. The entire CPU (Central Processing Unit), which was previously termed as the General Purpose Computer (GPU), took the entire place in the room. It acquired huge space, huge time to compute and manipulate numbers, and only executed general purpose tasks.
The development of hardware has taken place at such a thrilling rate, that today the smallest device is termed more powerful than the large devices. And if not more powerful, it is almost similar in terms of functionalities with larger hardware based systems.
How will you define the term hardware? Hardware is different for different devices, it is different for Laptops, Desktop PCs, Mobile Phones and many other electronic and hardware based devices. So how can one define hardware? In simple terms, a hardware is defined as “Hardware is a component, which is physically present in the system or the machine, and a user can make physical contact with it”. When we talk about computer hardware, it includes: Hard disks, Keyboard, Monitors, Mouse and also internal components, which include: RAM, ROM, Motherboard, Graphic Cards etc.
Every computer, or we can say every system (in a broader sense) consists of two main components:
1. A Hardware.
2. A Software.
Hardware of the system, are the various types of components that are interlinked and interconnected with one another, so as to provide better functionality from the hardware point of view. The hardware used in the system, is one of the major factor, which decides, whether the system is efficient, reliable to use, better in speed and functionality and also in terms of cost. More the hardware used, more will be the cost. Lesser the hardware used, lesser will be the cost, but this will also lead to less efficiency and less reliability. Thus, while choosing the hardware, optimum utilization of components is essential, which reduces the cost and provides high efficiency, which is robust to use.
Talking about the next component, software. Software, in simple terms, is a collection of programs, which defines the functionality of the system. For example: A should run after B’s completion, and after both A and B gets completed C should run and the task should end. This programming logic is piece of software code, which is embedded into the hardware of the system and the system is made to run.
Software gives the functionality, but Hardware is the Heart of any system. The number of processors, quality to build the chip defines the quality of the hardware. Some of the major factors to be taken care of while choosing a hardware for a system:
1. Size of the hardware.
3. Speed of the device.
4. Power consumption and Heat dissipation.
5. Reliability and Robustness.
Further for more information on software and how it works, you can have a look at the article:
Softwares: Simplifying Operations, Simplifying Business
We all are aware about, how hardware are nowadays built and how they are becoming smaller and smaller in size day by day. Mobile Phones, Palmtops, IPads, Tablets, Laptops are some of the example that, more the hardware is getting smaller, more the cost is reduced and functionality is increased.
Recently in USA, a group of scientists, have built the world’s largest microprocessor chip, which consists of 1000 processors, on a single chip. This is the most recent advancement. To have a look more about this, you can visit:
Hope the article was useful and you’ll gain some knowledge out of it. Do share and comment your feedbacks and suggestions. If any query, feel free to ask in the comments section below.
Article written and submitted by: Akshay Rakesh Toshniwal