general-purpose computer


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general-purpose computer

[¦jen·rəl ¦pər·pəs kəm′pyüd·ər]
(computer science)
A device that manipulates data without detailed, step-by step control by human hand and is designed to be used for many different types of problems.

General-Purpose Computer

 

a digital computer that is used to solve a wide range of scientific and technical, economic, and other problems, such as the design of complex engineering structures, the computation of spacecraft flight trajectories, and the calculation of payrolls. In contrast to a special-purpose computer, a general-purpose computer is not designed to solve any particular problem. A general-purpose computer is characterized by a large memory that is organized according to the hierarchical principle, a well-developed man/machine interface, and branching operations. Examples of general-purpose computers include the BESM-6 computer (USSR), the ES family of computers (COMECON countries), the Atlas and System 4 computers (Great Britain), and the CDC 6600 computer and the IBM 370 family of computers (USA).

general-purpose computer

Any computer-based device that accepts different applications. All mainframes, servers, laptop and desktop computers, smartphones and tablets are general-purpose devices. In contrast, chips can be designed from scratch for only a fixed number of tasks, but this is not cost effective in small quantities (see ASIC).
References in periodicals archive ?
Drops in liquid crystal devices (LCD) for mainly for cell phones, personal computers and general-purpose computers contributed the most in dragging down the overall output, but demand is basically brisk for LCDs thanks in part to cell phones, the official said.
As music software designer Selene Makarios puts it, this effort represents "little less than an attempt to outlaw general-purpose computers.
Total general-purpose computers and word processors owned by churches, agencies, groups, and individual Christians.
A secure embedded operating system eliminates the recurrent security-related patches, installation requirements and performance flaws of firewalls running on general-purpose computers.
As defined by Dataquest, handhelds are general-purpose computers that are distinguished from organizers by their adherence to hardware and software compatibility standards.
PIM systems attach to general-purpose computers through a shared memory interface.
So we've tried to define a new rule: We rank only software companies that target general-purpose computers.
The solution is expected to enhance the performance of general-purpose computers, such as Intel x86-based servers in the C-RAN, with highly specialized Modem Processing Units (MPUs) that can perform massive and concurrent baseband calculations in a cost- and power-efficient manner.
The ministry, on the other hand, will relax its control on general-purpose computers, citing the speed of technological innovations in the area, which it says has slashed the effects of such regulation.
Today, mobile devices act as general-purpose computers, complete with nearly 1.

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