:: Star Trek Media Online

The computers in Star Trek have both voice- as manual interface. They run under an operating system called -> LCARS (TNG, VOY and DS9 only). The Enterprise has three main computers. Two reside in the primary hull (the saucer); they are vertical cylinders, about 8 decks high, and located on opposite sides of the saucer, flanking the bridge. The third computer is located in the secondary hull (engineering), and is smaller than the other two cores; it controls the Stardrive section when the ship separates. We've seen the computer cores a number of times. In 'Evolution' (TNG) the nanites were attacked in the computer cores. The set is probably meant to be just one deck of the multi-deck computer core, with the room seen the hollow central portion.

The computers are networked with each other, and with the rest of the ship via the ODN - the Optical Data Network. The ODN has enough processing power on its own to take over limited control of the ship in case of a complete computer failure. That explains why systems are still accessable, even when the main computers are down. We see this often in Star Trek. The displays use 'nanoprocessors' - cell sized mechanical computers - to display information. The display itself contains data polled from the ODN, and based on user selections, displays whatever is appropriate. So even if the computers go down, whatever information is (1) already on the ODN (or ODN backups) or (2) in the display itself can be selected and displayed.

The three main computer cores are equipped with low level subspace field generators. This allows signal propagation within the cores at faster-than-light (FTL) speeds, allowing the computers to perform much faster than anything constructable given 20th century technology, even theoretically. This cannot be applied (by 24th century technology) to smaller computers. Until 2329, the duotronics technology (invented by Dr. Richard Daystrom in 2243)formed the basis of the computers used aboard all Federation starships for over 80 years, including the main computers aboard the old Enterprise. ('The Ultimate Computer' (TOS)). Duotronic enhancers were finally replaced by isolinear
optical ships in 2329. ('Relics' (TOS) The starship Defiant is equipped with a completely new technique, called
-> reflex-quintronics.

An other new advance in computer technology are -> bio-neural gel packs (-> quad).