Engineering

Hey, watch where you're flicking. That's a computer

Michigan Micro Mote (M3) is the world's smallest computer. How small? It's about the size of a grain of rice. A University of Michigan's March report can tell you that the team behind the computer have come up with a fully ...

Computer Sciences

AI outperforms humans in speech recognition

Following a conversation and transcribing it precisely is one of the biggest challenges in artificial intelligence (AI) research. For the first time now, researchers of Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT) have succeeded ...

Hardware

Cooking Raspberry Pi for the smart home

Researchers in India describe the potential of the low-cost Raspberry Pi computer to be used as a control system for home automation using the so-called Internet of Things. They outline details in the International Journal ...

Hardware

Reports: Intel chips have new security flaws

A pair of new security threats to Intel-based computer systems have been revealed. The beleaguered semiconductor chip manufacturer has faced a seemingly endless series of vulnerabilities over the past two years.

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Computer

A computer is a machine that manipulates data according to a set of instructions.

Although mechanical examples of computers have existed through much of recorded human history, the first electronic computers were developed in the mid-20th century (1940–1945). These were the size of a large room, consuming as much power as several hundred modern personal computers (PCs). Modern computers based on integrated circuits are millions to billions of times more capable than the early machines, and occupy a fraction of the space. Simple computers are small enough to fit into a wristwatch, and can be powered by a watch battery. Personal computers in their various forms are icons of the Information Age and are what most people think of as "computers". The embedded computers found in many devices from MP3 players to fighter aircraft and from toys to industrial robots are however the most numerous.

The ability to store and execute lists of instructions called programs makes computers extremely versatile, distinguishing them from calculators. The Church–Turing thesis is a mathematical statement of this versatility: any computer with a certain minimum capability is, in principle, capable of performing the same tasks that any other computer can perform. Therefore computers ranging from a mobile phone to a supercomputer are all able to perform the same computational tasks, given enough time and storage capacity.

This text uses material from Wikipedia, licensed under CC BY-SA