Thermodynamics of Computation
- Analog computing
An analog computer is often negatively defined as a computer that is not digital. More properly, it is a computer that uses quantities that can be made proportional to the amount of signal detected. That analogy between a real number and a physical property gives the name “analog.” Many problems arise in analog computing, because it is so difficult to obtain a large number of distinguishable levels and because noise builds up in cascaded computations. But, being unencoded, it can always be run faster than its digital counterpart.
Any activity with input/output patterns mapped onto real problems to be solved.
- Digital computing
The name derives from digits (the fingers). Digital computing works with discrete items like fingers. Most digital computing is binary – using 0 and 1. Because signals are restored to a 1 or a 0 after each operation, noise accumulation is not much of a problem. And, of course, digital computers are much more flexible than analog...
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