Analog Computing


Last updated July 22, 2022



An analog computer is a device that can perform calculations and model a problem with the use of physical quantities(voltage, water, gears, slide rule, beads, etc.) to represent values.

Analog computing is the use of an analog computer to determine a
value or values.


Engineering Skills Requisites

For a mechanical analog computer – mechanical engineering for setting up gears, switches, and other mechanical parts for computation.

For an electronic analog computer – electrical/electronics engineering for setting up electrical power, computation circuits, and switches for computation.

In general, good math skills are needed to perform any computation from the application of physical phenomena.



Abacus was used in Medieval and Renaissance Europe by merchants for
calculations done for sale of items. (1)

Mechanical analog devices based on the wheel-and-disc integrator were in use during World War I for gunnery calculations. (2)


Current Use

Electronic analog computers are currently in use for research in neuromorphic computing and in-memory computing due to lower power usage from using less transistors than digital methods. (3)


Modern electronic analog computers that are available today:

The Analog Thing(THAT) by Anabrid Gmbh, Analog Paradigm by Anabrid