What Are the Differences Between Analog, Digital and Hybrid Computers?

Analog computers only work with continuous numerical data in analog quantities, digital computers can process both non-numerical and numerical data and a hybrid computer is a combination of both analog and digital. A hybrid computer has the accuracy of a digital computer paired with speed of an analog one.

An advantage of an analog computer is the speed at which it can process data, although it is only capable of handling several digits or packets of data at a time. A digital computer has the ability to solve an innumerable amount of equations, but it is very slow in processing them. A hybrid computer has a digital component for logical operations, and an analog component that is able to solve differential equations.

Hybrid computers are also known for their seed value, or gauging a precise numerical seed at a medium rate of speed. However, a hybrid computer differs from a hybrid system. Hybrid computers have an exact and precise structure built in, and a hybrid system may just be a computer with a digital-to-analog converter or the reverse. An example of a standalone hybrid computer is the HRS-100, which was in extensive use during the 1970s. In more modern times, digital signal processors have replaced the need for hybrids.