Sunday, 16 May 2021

Generation of computers in Detail

The time period between the birth of computer and till today is called generations of computer.  There so many changes are happened interns of technology, size of computers. All these can be grouped into five generations.

The details of each generations are described below in brief and simple way.

First Generation (1940-50)
  1. Entirely electronic.
  2. Used Vacuum tubes to store instructions.
  3. For memory Magnetic drums were used.
  4. They were often enormous, taking up entire rooms.
  5. Very expensive to operate.
  6. Very limited storage capacity.
  7. Used a lot of electricity and generated a lot of heat.
  8. Relied on lowest level-level programming language understood by computers to perform functions- machine language (1s and 0s).
  9. Slow input/output.
  10. Examples- UNIVAC 1, ENVIAC and MARK 1.

Second Generation (1950-60)
  1. Vacuum tubes were replaced by Transistors.
  2. This made computer to become smaller, faster, cheaper, more energy-efficient and more reliable.
  3. Magnetic disks and tape were used.
  4. Use of magnetic core as primary internal storage medium.
  5. Increased main storage capacity.
  6. Faster input / output.
  7. Example- IBM 400, IBM1600, IBM1401, HONEWELL 200, CDC 1604, FORTRAN and COBOL.

Third Generation (1960-1970)
  1. Transistors were replaced by Integrated circuits (IC)
  2. Use of magnetic core as primary storage medium.
  3. This led to reduction in size, greater reliability, speed and lower costs.
  4. Small-scale integration (SSI) and medium-scale technology (MSI) was used.
  5. Use of magnetic core as primary storage medium.
  6. More flexible input / output.
  7. Increased speed and better performance.
  8. Extensive use of high-level programming languages- BASIC and PASCAL.
  9. Examples- PDP-8, ICL 2900, IBM-360, and IBM-370.
Fourth Generation (1970- present)
  1. Microprocessor bought the Fourth generation computers.
  2. Thousands of integrated circuits were built into single silicon chips.
  3. Large scale integration (LSI) and very large scale integration (VLSI) technology used.
  4. Microprocessor were produced using LSI technology.
  5. Development of portable computers.
  6. Microcomputer became available.
  7. RAID (Redundant Array of Inexpensive Disks) technology was used for data storage.
  8. Greater versatility of Input / Output devices.
  9. Used in Virtual reality multimedia, and simulation.
  10. Examples- IBM-PC, Apple Macintosh

Fifth generation
  1. It is mainly aimed at reducing complex programming.
  2. These are used in parallel processing, speech recognition, intelligent robots, and artificial intelligence.
  3. For development of Natural language processing.
  4. For advancement in Parallel Processing.
  5. For advancement in Superconductor technology.
  6. More user-friendly interfaces with multimedia features.
  7. Availability of very powerful and compact computers at cheaper rates.


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