NSS-ICT‎ > ‎Unit B‎ > ‎

Chapter 15

S3: micro,  mainframe, supercomputer

Clock frequency (3GHz)
Number of cores (2,4,6,8 cores)
Word length (64 bits)
Cache size

Server: Redundancy, fault tolerance

15.1 Classification of computer

Computation power: FLOPS (Floating point operations per second)

Personal computer, mainframe computer, supercomputers.

Practical 1:
Go to http://www.dell.com.hk to configure a desktop computer for school use. (Budget HKD5000).
Main components:
 Hard disk 
 DVD writer 
 Display card 
 Sound card 
 Network card 
 Operating system 

Practical 2: identify the ports of the diagram.
 A PS2 - Mouse 

PC, workstations, notebook computers.
  • Handheld computer: tablets, phone
  • Embedded system 嵌入式系統
  • wearable device 穿戴裝置 (watch, Google glass)

Mainframe computer: handle large volume of data.

Supercomputer: handle complex calculations

Practical 3: Go to the site http://www.top500.org, find 2 supercomputers and fill in the followings:

 Number of cores 
 Spec of Processor
     Number of core
     Word length
 Number of processors 
 Amount of RAM  

15.2 Characteristics of computer systems
15.2.1 single user / multi-user system
Network servers and mainframe computers support multi-user 

15.2.2 Batch Processing
batch processing system refers to a computer system which executes batch jobs at a scheduled time automatically without human intervention
e.g. Processing of electric bills (month)
       Processing of report card (4 times a year)
       generating bank statements (month)
       Data backup (everyday, every week) 
       Payroll (month)

Computer resources are fully utilized.
Computer idle time is minimized
may schedule in non-peak hours

Data are not up-to-date. users have to wait.

15.2.3 Real Time processing

Time constraint is very important.
Controlling of Power Plant, nuclear plant

Real time system is a computer system that processes data immediately after it is entered.

- short response time. User no need to wait
- data updated immediately.

Functions of banking machine (ATM, cash deposit, cheque deposit)
- withdrawn money (Real time)
- Cash deposit 
- Transfer
- Pay bills
- cheque deposit (batch)
- cheque book request (batch)

15.2.4 Online interactive
Online interactive system
- interaction between users and computer.

Octopus system
- online or Not 
- Amount of money in Card (Real time)
- Transfer of money to company (Some are batch e.g bus)

15.2.6 Distributed processing
A network of computer worked together for the same job. A Powerful server may be used to do the coordination work.
Communication between computers in a network is very important.

Make up of many computer system with a controller server. 
Cooperation between computers. Coordinate by the controller.
Each computer has its own resources.
May or May not share secondary storage space
Common hardware can be used, scalable (expand easily) .

15.4.5 Parallel processing (multi-core is an example)
Under the same clock.
A computer have many CPU to perform a task.

Parallel processing system (multiple CPU inside a computer) 
Most resources are share between CPU.
need special OS and Hardware for building a supercomputer/Mainframe.

Practical 4: Go to http://www.dell.com.hk to configure a Server with multiple CPU

The development of Supercomputer was shifted from Parallel processing to Distributed processing. Why?

Thomson Chan,
May 24, 2016, 6:04 PM
Thomson Chan,
Jun 13, 2016, 11:30 PM