Hybrid Computer: Features, Examples, Uses and Comparison of Analog vs Digital vs Hybrid.

There are mainly three types of computers in today’s digital world: Analog, digital, and hybrid computers. In the article, we will know the hybrid computer examples and uses of the hybrid computer and its difference between analog and digital and hybrid computers.

A hybrid computer is those computers that have the characteristics of both analog computers and digital computers. Before explaining the uses of hybrid computers and examples, you must know what analog or digital computers are?. Let’s know in a simple way.

Analog computers

Analog computers are used only to process analog data. It processes data continuously, i.e., do not take breaks such as measuring temperature, blood pressure, voltage, depth, etc. It measures continuous changes in a physical quantity.

For example, the Speedometer of a car measures the speed, changes in temperature in the body with a thermometer’s help, and weighs our body with a weighing machine.

In analog computers, the data is accepted with an instrument to be directly measured, and therefore no numbers need to be converted into codes. The analog computer is the 1st generation of computers i.e beginning of the computing world.

Digital computers

Digital computers process the data in numeric as well as non-numeric form. It can perform arithmetic operations such as addition, occurrence, subtraction, multiplication, or division and all types of logical(mathematical) operations. 

Today, most of the computers available in the market are digital computers. The best example of a digital computer is – accounting machines and calculators.

Difference: The output result of digital computers are more accurate than that of analog computers. On the other hand, Analog computers can perform much faster than digital computers. Further, you get the difference between an analog and digital and hybrid computer in table form.

Hybrid Computer Definition

A hybrid computer is a combined complex of several electronic computer units built using the different characterization of quantities (i.e., analog and digital features ) and united by a single control system.

The purpose of designing hybrid computers is to provide functions and features that can be found on both analog and digital devices.

This combined model (hybrid system) aims to create a work unit that offers the best of both types of computers. Hybrid computers are extremely fast when driving equations, even when those calculations are incredibly complex.

What is a Hybrid Computer?

Guys, As you know, hybrid computers are a combination of analog and digital computers. The digital component usually acts as a controller and prepares logical and numerical operations. In contrast, the analog component often acts as a solver of many differential equations and other mathematically complicated equations.

As both the properties of a computer consist of a single hybrid system, making it possible to solve too complex calculations or problems, at the same time, these devices are not only too expensive but also able to solve complex issues bit fastly.

Incorporating the properties of both(analog and digital) computers into hybrid computers makes it possible to resolve more complicated equations immediately.

In other words, as we know that both the speed and the accuracy are getting a single hybrid system; as a result, users have almost no obligation to choose an option.

One of the most significant advantages of hybrid computers is that it is manufactured so that speed can be increased and the output can be made purer.

The first desktop hybrid computing system was the Hycom 250, released in 1961 by Packard Bell.

*Remember that both the hybrid systems and hybrid computers are not the same. Let’s know, Hybrid systems are used to convert the signal from analog to digital whereas hybrid computers process both analog and digital at the same time to give output.

Features of hybrid computers

  • High accuracy and most acceptable speed, the variety of possibilities of management, processing, and programming simultaneously inherent to digital systems.
  • Direct interaction with monitored and controlled equipment, inherent in analog systems.
  • Lack of critical nodes additional transformations of physical quantities in hybrid computers which restricts the temporary delays and errors in sampling.
  • A relatively small number of simple elements, realizing complex functional dependence, inherent the analog systems.

Uses of Hybrid Computer in Different Fields

Hybrid systems effectively solve the tasks and use in the following:

  1. Modeling a Real-time automatic system control, containing both the features of analogs and digital devices.
  2. It uses in the ICU (intensive Unit Care) of the Hospital.
  3. Applied in the sectors like ships, defense sector, airline sector, and in radar systems as well.
  4. Plays the role in real-time processes, comprising high-frequency components and variables, varying in a vast extent and frequency range.
  5. Plants like cement factories and gas pump stations.
  6. Biological systems modeling.
  7. Digital machines like an ultrasound machine, CT scan machines, and ATMs.
  8. Statistical modeling.
  9. The solution of equations in partial derivatives.
  10. Optimization of control systems.
Simulation in real-time

One of the representative tasks of the first group is modeling the control system of the rolling mill. In this case, the analog computing machine reproduces the dynamic processes in the mill and manages the engine is modeled CVM general purpose of the particular program.

The short duration of transient processes in mill drives and interconnection of a significant number of variables when you try to simulate them entirely on a digital computer in real scale of time required to the application of ultrafast digital computer, with this precision modeling of the most critical, fast processes, was determined to first of all errors of sampling.

This class of tasks also represents for control of military objects, for example, air defense systems like radar or an army reformation.

Moving object control

complex simulators

Building a computer is the part of complex simulators has shown, that the most excellent accuracy simulation is achieved, here the equation of motion around the center of gravity assigned to the analog part, and the movement of the center of gravity in the space and all the kinematic relations are engaged by a digital machine.

Stochastic processes

It is customary to refer to this group as tasks that are solved by processing the results of multiple implementations of a random process.

Hybrid Computer Examples

Whenever we talk of hybrid computers or systems, we talk about that particular type of system which has consisted of the best features of both analog and digital computers. It works like the speed of an analog computer and memory and process management are handled by a digital computer.

Hybrid computers are mainly used as a specialized application where both analog and digital data processing is done.

Auto Gasoline pump is the example of a hybrid computer, this device is installed on a petrol pump do not only to measure the amount of petrol but also to calculates its value, in this way It is capable of both functions i.e hybrid function.


Another hybrid computer example is the units found in the ICU of the hospital. 

A thermometer (hybrid device) is used to measure the patient’s blood pressure, heartbeat, temperature, etc. which later converts the value into digits form to display on the screen. The speedometer used in cars is also an example of a hybrid computer.


Advantages of Hybrid Computers

By creating this type of integrated computer, both analog and digital computing benefits are readily available. Hybrid computers are extremely fast when controlling equations, even if the calculations are very complex.

This advantage is made possible by the presence of analog components incorporated into the design of the equipment.

Although hybrid computers handle the equations as quickly as an analog computer, digital components help eliminate one of the significant disadvantages of a pure analog device. The accuracy of an analog computer is limited, while digital computers’ accuracy is much higher.

By incorporating components that allow a digital computer to go beyond the three to four digits of precision common in analog equipment, hybrid computing allows equations to be processed much faster.

In other words, hybrid computing delivers both speed and accuracy, eliminating the need to be content with one advantage or another.

The value of the hybrid computer is easy to see where equations need to be driven in real-time. Whereas a strictly analog device would provide fast responses that may not be entirely accurate, here, the digital device would provide more accurate answers that would take longer to compute. The hybrid approach allows solutions now rather than later.

Simultaneously, these answers are more detailed and, therefore, more useful than the quick answers provided by analog computers.

Limitations of Hybrid Computers

The hybrid computer examples have some Limitations are:-

1. Hybrid computers are used only for performing specific (particular fields) tasks.
2. Hybrid computers are a bit expensive.

3. The hardware of these computers is complicated because these computers have to convert digital signals into analog signals and analog signals into digital signals.
4. To run these computers, it is necessary to have complete knowledge of their software.

Major Difference between Analog and Digital and Hybrid Computer

Difference between Analog, Digital, and Hybrid Computers

Analog Computers

 Digital Computers

Hybrid computers

The analog computer displays the results in the signal or graphical form.

The work shown by digital computers is in the way of exact values or numbers on the device screen.

Here, the output is displayed in the form of values or numbers after processing both the required data.

Analog Computer works on a continuous signal.

Digital Computer works on a discrete signal.

It is a combination of both computers.

Analog machines are Slow in Speed.

Digital computers are very fast at Speed.

It depends upon the situation and task of the computer, however, it is generally fast in speed.

Using Analog Computer is a bit complex.

Using digital computers is generally straightforward.

Uses of hybrid computers are bit tricky. However, to run these computers, it is necessary to have complete knowledge of the software.

Analog computers range in size from average small desktops the size of a large book to tall equipment machines.

Digital computers range from tiny microcircuits a few millimeters in size to server installations the size of a room.

The size of hybrid computers varies depends upon the situation from small to large.

Analog Computer measures Analog Quantities like the voltage, temperature, etc.

Digital computers perform mathematical functions, complex calculations, media streaming, etc.

It works(processes) with the duo combination of analog and digital computers at the same time to complete the task.

These computers are mainly used in the field of science.

 Digital computers can be used in all aspects of life.

Hybrid computers are used in specific areas.

Energy meters, weight measuring machine, 3 hands wrist watch and old washing machine, etc

Digital cameras, modern computers, digital watches, scanners, etc.

hybrid computer examples are thermometer and Auto Gasoline pump installed in petrol pumps.

» Recommended: Digital Computer: Examples, and Digital vs Analog Computer.

» Recommended: Analog Computer: Examples, and Analog vs Digital Computers.

History of Hybrid Computers

Let’s know a little history. The emergence of hybrid computing systems has been associated with the order. For several emerging in engineering tasks simulation of complex systems, either analog or digital methods are not enough.

These tasks were:

  • Automatic control of fast-moving objects
  • Optimization of control systems
  • Weight-training aircraft, in particular, a combat technique.

Digital machines of the corresponding era [ when? ] did not have sufficient performance to process the emerging data arrays in real-time, and analog devices did not allow achieving all the possible variety of simulated situations.

Therefore, a solution was found in the form of the digital computer to divide the computational process into several classes of operations, after which to assign the most complex functional signal processing to analog modules of the system, and decision -making, scenarios, algorithms, setting initial and final conditions – to digital modules.

All this made it possible to reduce the costs of the used digital computers’ computing power and increase the speed of the resulting hybrid systems.

» Also Read: Classifications of Computer by Size, Purpose, and Design.

I hope you know, what is a hybrid computer, uses of computer and hybrid computer examples also difference between analog and digital and hybrid computer.

FAQ related Hybrid Computer

What is hybrid computer example?

Hybrid computers are mainly used for specialized applications where both analog and digital data processing is done. For Example, Hybrid computers installed on a petrol pump do not only measure the amount of petrol but also calculates its value. In this way, It is capable of both functions.

What are the advantages of hybrid computer?

The Hybrid computers are extremely fast when it comes to controlling equations, even if the calculations are extremely complex. The biggest advantage of hybrid computers is that it is constructed in such a way that its speed can be increased and the output can be made purer.

What is the difference between digital and hybrid computer?

Digital computers perform the functions like mathematical, complex calculations, media streaming, etc. While hybrid computers work with the duo combination of analog (analog Quantities like the voltage, temperature) and digital (mathematical functions, complex calculations, media streaming) computers at the same time.

Is thermometer a hybrid computer?

Yes, In the ICU of the hospital, Thermometer a Hybrid Computer is used to measure the patient's blood pressure, heartbeat, temperature, etc. which later converts the analog signals into digits form to display the data into the screen. Thus here, both analog and digital functions are used to perform the task.

What are the examples of analog/digital and hybrid computer?

Fuel pumps at a service station contain a processor(hybrid computer) that converts the fu+el flow measurement into values corresponding to quantity and price. In business, computers can be used in the chemical industry as process control systems. Thermometer and speedometer are also examples of hybrid computers.

Why hybrid computers are better than digital computers?

Hybrid computers are better than digital computers because It works with both the features of analog and digital computers at the same. As well as hybrid computers are generally fast in speed.

What is the application of hybrid computer?

The main Applications are 1. Modeling a Real- scale time automatic system control, containing both analogs, so and digital devices. 2. Play in real scale time processes, comprising high-frequency components and variables, varying in a wide amplitude and frequency range. 3. The solution of equations in partial derivatives. 4. Optimization of control systems.

What are the disadvantages of hybrid computer?

The disadvantages of hybrid computers are 1. Hybrid computers are used for performing specific tasks only . 2. Hybrid computers are expensive. 3. The hardware of these computers is complex because these computers need to convert digital signals into analog signals and analog signals into digital signals. 4. To run these computers, it is necessary to have knowledge of the software.