Computers are machines using various stages of information technology to perform increasingly sophisticated calculations, from the earliest clockwork Babbage machines, performing simple mathematical calculations, to the most advanced TL–15 computers performing sophisticated, heuristic maths.
The term computer is a term covering several different technologies all used to achieve the same end goal: A machine capable of general calculations.
A computer design that uses Analogue Electronics as the core processor. This is an TL–5 era computer system design and quickly superseded by digital computers.
A specialized digital computer using mechanical digital components. It is quickly superseded by Digital Electronics computers.
A digital computer build using Digital Electronics and Microelectronics.
A Fiber Optic Computer, also notated as Fibre Optic Computer is a specially hardened computer most often used in military ships. It is a computer whose logic circuits are constructed from fibre optic conduits. Such computers are less vulnerable to radiation effects than normal electronic computers and for this reason are often used on military vessels. Hard radiation is a serious problem in deep space, or even with interplanetary space, the stellar system. It wreaks havoc on electronics, especially conventional electronics. Fiber Optic Computers were one of the solutions to minimize damage from radiation in deep space.
A computer using Fluidic circuits as the core processing.
A Positronic Computer uses positronic circuits for the core processing.
A Pseudoreality Computer is a supercomputer simulating the personality of a sophont with advanced AI processors.
Psychotronics are an advanced form of electronics that take advantage of psionic technology. Psychotronics makes use of psychoactive materials and psionic principles that allow higher performance characteristics than conventional electronics limited by physical principle and electromagnetic boundaries. The Zhodani used early forms of psychotronics as early as their TL:10-12 epoch and the Droyne have also used such technology far ahead of their time. Many Ancients artifacts seem to use psychoelectronic technology, which is not well understood by Imperial science.
History of computer technology
TL–1 The abacus and the quipu represent early calculating tech. they are simple, mechanical processors to perform a number of calculations.
TL–3 Mathematics makes great leaps forward with the development of algebra, trigonometry, and calculus.
TL–4 The first analog computers and calculators greatly enhance business and academic endeavors. Designers use classic programming and aspire to build the first Babbage machines.
TL–7} Programmable computers come into vogue as the analog is replaced by the digital. Transistors make way for microchips; desktop processors soon become a feature of home, business, and school.
TL–8 Massive parallel processors fill entire rooms and supersede earlier technologies. The first supercomputers can often beat even expert humans at games like chess due to phenomenal calculating abilities and vast memory banks.
TL–9 Photonic and gravitic energy transmission as well as bio-computing replace many of the earlier generations of electronics. Voice-activated processors are more user-friendly than ever before. Many societies can build processors that meet the Imperial standards for Model/2, Model/2 bis, and even Model/3 processors.
TL–10 Synaptic processors are vastly more capable than earlier generations of processor technology. Some advanced robots can fool inexpert humans. Expert roboticists call these low autonomous robots. Still, a well-trained expert sophont can often outthink and outperform advanced thinking machines. Fluidic transmission increase processing speed
TL–11 magnetic energy transmission increase processing speed.
TL–14 Holocrystals and advanced bio-compumetrics are increasing functioning to billions of actions per nanosecond. Computer brain implants allow complete rehabilitation and restoration of function to almost all individuals who were formerly handicapped. Infomorphs and downloadable brains supplement wafertech. Pseudoreality simulators show amazing promise.