Generation of Computers

Until recently, the meaning of generations was derived from changes in the hardware technology of computers, but in present times, the meaning of generations is assumed by changes in the technology of both hardware and software.

History of computers - generation of computers

Generation of Computers
Generation of Computers

The generation of computers is mainly divided into five parts.

  • First Generation
  • Second Generation
  • Third Generation
  • Fourth Generation
  • Fifth Generation

NOTE: Each generation of computers is defined by the technology they use.

First Generation (1942-1956)

  • First-generation computers used vacuum tubes as the main electronic component and a magnetic drum for data storage.

If we talk about vacuum tubes, these were the basic components of memory and CPU at that time. These components heated up very quickly, due to which the computer also heated up.

  • The weight of this computer was about 30 tons and it was as much as 50x30 rooms. They were very large in size. And an entire room was needed to keep it.
  • 18000 vacuum tubes were used in this computer.
  • 150000 watts of power was required to operate it.
  • This generation of computers required AC (Alternating Current).
  • This computer takes 200 microseconds to add and subtract and 2000 microseconds to multiply.

These computers were very expensive, heat emission was very high due to which it was very important to cool them and at the same time their maintenance was very difficult.

  • Machine language was used as its programming language to operate first-generation computers.
  • Punch cards, paper tape, and magnetic tape were used as input and output in first-generation computers.
  • First-generation computers were able to solve one problem at a time

Many computers were built in the first generation such as

  • IBM-701 

ENIAC (Electronic Numerical Integrator and Computer)

  • The first electronic computer ENIAC was invented by John Fish and J. Presper Eckert of the University of Pennsylvania, USA.
  • It was built for the United States Army, counts their artillery firing table.

Second Generation (1956-1965)

  • Second-generation computers used transistors as electronic devices.
  • The transistor size was much smaller than that of the vacuum tube and the power consumption was also much lower.
  • Compared to the first generation, it was more reliable and able to operate faster.
  • This generation used magnetic cores as primary memory.
  • Magnetic tape and magnetic disks were used for secondary memory.
  • In this generation, assembly and machine language have been made more easy and powerful.

Many computers were built in the second generation such as
  • IBM 7030
  • Honeywell 400
  • CDC 1604

Third-Generation (1965-1975)

  • In third-generation computers, integrated circuits were used in place of transistors.
  • The integrated circuit is made of silicon. Integrated circuits first used 10–20 electronic devices and this technique is called small-scale integration.
  • The third generation used more storage magnetic tape and magnetic disks.
  • Keyboards and monitors were used for input/output by this generation of computers
  • MICR, plotter and scanner were invented in this generation.
  • In this generation, the concept of time-sharing and multi-programming operating systems was introduced.
  • Many new high-level programming languages were introduced in this generation such as Pascal, Basic, Fortran.

Many computers were built in the third generation such as
  • IBM-360
  • IBM-370
  • CDC-6600
  • PDP-8
  • PDP-11

Fourth-Generation (1975-1989)

  • Microprocessors were introduced in the fourth generation, in which thousands of ICs could be manufactured on a single chip.
  • Large-scale integration was created by assembling around 5000 transistors together and over time this large-scale integration was expanded to form very large-scale integration.
  • The first microchip was built by Intel Corporation in 1971, the Intel-4004. This small chip came to be called a microprocessor.
  • The use of microprocessors greatly reduced the size of computers of this generation.
  • In this generation of computers, the storage device was absorbed into the computer itself, which greatly reduced the size of the computer and due to this, the personal computer could reach home.
  • In this generation, the concept of time-sharing, real-time processing distributed operating systems was used.
  • In this generation, C, C ++, DBASE were used as new high-level programming languages.
  • Supercomputers like CRAY were also born in the same generation, which could perform about a billion calculations in a second.

Many computers were built in the fourth generation such as
  • CRAY-I
  • VAX-9000

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Fifth-Generation (1989-till)

  • As the fifth generation, a new technology emerged, called Ultra Large Scale Integration.
  • In this generation, the concept of artificial intelligence, voice recognition, mobile communication, satellite communication, signal data processing was introduced.
  • Java, VB, and .Net were introduced in this generation in high-level programming languages.
  • Today's computers are so advanced that they are being used in every specific area, basic accounting, engineering, building construction, space, and other types of research work.
  • In this generation every day an attempt is being made to reduce the size of the computer, as a result of which we are also in the shape of the clock.
  • With the help of the internet, we can exchange documents, information, and money.

In the fifth generation, many computers were built such as
  • IBM

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