Generation of computer :-
Table of Contents
GENERATIONS OF COMPUTERS :
what is generations of computer : Computer is an electronic device that accepts data and instructions, processes it and gives the desired output. Computers have evolved over a period of time. The development of present day computers can be studied in reference to five generations of computers. Let us discuss the five generations of computers.
First-generation computers (1940–1956)
Some of the characteristics of the first-generation computers were:
• They used vacuum tubes.
• They were very large in size.
• They were very expensive to operate.
• They had small internal memory.
• Inputs in such computers were in the form of punched cards and paper tapes.
Some of the examples of first-generation computers are as follows:
Second-generation computers (1956–1963)
Some of the characteristics of the second generation computers were:
• They used transistors
• They were smaller and faster compared to the first generation computers.
• They were cheaper and more efficient compared to the first generation computers.
• They relied on punched card for inputs.
Some of the examples of second generation computers are UNIVAC 3 , IBM 704, IBM 1401,
IBM 700, RCA 501, NCR 300 series, Burroughs B5000, 200 series.
Third-generation computers (1964-1971)
Some of the characteristics of the third generation computer were:
• They used integrated circuits (ICs) popularly known as chips.
• They were faster and more efficient than second generation computers
• They were smaller in size compared to the second generation computers.
• They used a keyboard to input data and a monitor to display output.
• They used an operating system that allowed running of many different programs
Some of the examples of third generation computers are – UNIVAC 900 series, IBM 360, ICL
1900 and Burroughs 6700.
Fourth-generation computers (1972-present)
The fourth generation computers are the present day computers. They have the following
They use VLSI (Very-Large-Scale-Integration) and ULSI (Ultra-Large-Scale-Integration) which contain all the components of a CPU ona single chip.
• They are smaller, energy efficient and more reliable than the earlier generation of computers.
• They are more advanced in terms of processing and memory capcities.
• They have led to the development of personal compters (PCs).
• They present day computers can be linked together to from computer networks. This led to
the development of the worldwide network called the Internet.
• They are extremely powerful powerful and can process millions of instructions in a fraction of
Some of the examples of fourth generation computers are – IBM PC and Apple Macintosh.
Fifth-generation computers (present and beyond)
Till the fourth generation computers, the major focus was, and has been, on reducing size and improving efficiency. This resulted in smaller, yet faster computers. However, the only drawback of these computers is the lack of ability to think and there has been an attempt to achieve this in the fifth generation computers.
• These days, scientists are working on fifth generation computers.
• These computers will be based on artificial intelligence.
• Artificial intelligence is the branch of computer science that aims to create computers that
can think, behave and react in the same way as humans do.
• The fifth generation computers are expected to overcome the lack of thinking power in the earlier generations.
• These computers will be able to take commands in audio-visual eay and carry out
instructions. ROBOTS are the best examples of artificial intelligence.