Generations of Computer

Computer generation term define about the change in technology of computer system. there are five generations of computer development and it is purely based on hardware. Today generation includes both hardware and software.

Five generations of computer

Generation NameGeneration Description
First GenerationVacuum tube based : 1946-1959.
Second GenerationTransistor based : 1959-1965.
Third GenerationIntegrated Circuit based : 1965-1971.
Fourth GenerationVLSI microprocessor based : 1971-1980.
Fifth Generation 
(Present and Beyond)
Artificial Intelligence (ULSI) : 1980-onwards.

First Generation (Vacuum tube based : 1946-1959)

  • First generation computer uses vacuum tubes as circuitry and magnetic drums for memory.
  • It was large in size, Slow, produce lots of heat and consume more electricity.
  • These only understand machine language. takes Input from punch card and paper tape. Gives printout as output.
  • Examples- UNIVAC (first commercial computer) and ENIAC.

Second Generation (Transistor based : 1959-1965)

  • These developed using transistor technology.
  • Main development- small size, faster, cheaper and less heavy on electricity use and reliable.
  • Support machine language and assembly languages.
  • Example- IBM 1620, IBM 7094, CDC 1604, CDC 3600. UNIVAC 1108

Third Generation (Integrated Circuit based : 1965-1971)

Third Generation
  • This generation uses integrated circuit. single IC content many transistors, resistors, and capacitors.
  • Main development- smaller in size, reliable and efficient. support remote processing, time-sharing, multi-programming operating system.
  • Support High-level languages (FORTRAN-II TO IV, COBOL, PASCAL, ALGOL-68 etc.)
  • Example- IBM-360 series, Honeywell-6000 series, IBM-370/168, TDC-316

Fourth Generation (VLSI microprocessor based : 1971-1980)

Fourth Gen PC
  • Thousands of IC’s were built onto a single silicon chip(VLSI) called microprocessor used in the fourth-generation computer.
  • It’s more powerful, compact, reliable, and affordable.
  • Become PC develop Network and Internet, .
  • Example- DEC-10, STAR 1000, PDP 11, CRAY-1(Super Computer)

Fifth Generation (Artificial Intelligence, ULSI : 1980-onwards)

Fifth gen pc
  • VLSI become ULSI means Ultra Large Scale Integration.
  • Support parallel processing and Artificial Intelligence program.
  • Support high-level language like C, C++,JAVA, .NET etc.
  • Development of natural language processing.
  • UI development with multimedia features.
  • Quantum computation and molecular and nanotechnology will radically change the face of computer
  • Example- Desktop, Laptop, Notebook.

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