Why do digital computers use binary system in their operations?


3 Answers

Oddman Profile
Oddman answered
General purpose scientific computing was done for a number of years by analog computers, which use an "infinite" number of states to represent values of variables. Digital computers are preferred these days because of the high signal-to-noise ratio of binary signals and the simplicity of associated circuitry. In an effort to achieve more density in circuitry, especially memory, some makers of computers and memory are building devices that use 4 states on each signal line.
Jon Moody Profile
Jon Moody answered

Binary (1,0) is just a shorthand for humans. Computers at their lowest level do not use ones and zeros. What they use is electricity. Their are two types of systems to use electricity to convey information. One is analog, where we measure the amount of electricity to assign a number. The other is digital, where we only measure on or off. There is is power or there isn't.

Analog has two drawbacks. One is that its prone to a lot of error. As electricity travels is looses power to whats received at the other end has slightly less power than it did starting out. So the number it represents has changed. We have to put lots of error detection in places because of the high error rate.

The second problem is analog is slow. Even though digital can only carry a much smaller number at a time, we flip power on and off at an extremely rapid pace. We can process 1000s more binary pulses than analog carrier waves since its a much simpler process. This is why binary has overtaken analog. It has less errors and is much faster.

Ray Dart Profile
Ray Dart answered
It means that anything and everything can be represented in one of two states, on and off. This is the easiest system to use electronically. It also means that Boolean logic can be used to design the processing tools necessary to deal with binary data.

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