Topic 52. Computers
Topics 42 to 44 describe the operation of microcontroller systems. Computers have much in common with microcontroller systems, but are designed for a different purpose. Microcontroller systems are relatively simple, and centre mainly on a single IC, the microcontroller. They are intended for controlling equipment and appliances such as dishwashers and mobile phones. Computers too are used in control systems, but mostly in highly complex systems. For example, computers are used to control power stations, jumbo jets, and radio telescopes. On the right is the main computer console that controls the electricity generators at Ironbridge Power Station, Shropshire.