Generations of computers
Generations of computers
The first electronic computer was designed and built at the University of Pennsylvania based on vacuum tube technology. Vacuum tubes were used to perform logic operations and to store data.
Generations of computers has been divided into five according to the development of technologies used to fabricate the processors, memories and I/O units.
Â A generation refers to the state of improvement in the development of a product.Â This term is also used in the different advancements of computer technology.Â With each new generation, the circuitry has gotten smaller and more advanced than the previous generation before it.Â As a result of theÂ miniaturization,Â speed,Â power, andÂ memoryÂ of computers has proportionally increased.Â New discoveries are constantly being developed that affect the way we live, work and play
I Generation : 1945 â 55
II Generation : 1955 â 65
III Generation : 1965 â 75
IV Generation : 1975 â 89
V Generation : 1989 to present
VI Generation : Future
COMING UP TECHNOLOGY
FIRST GENERATION COMPUTERS
During the period of 1940 to 1956 first generation of computers were developed.
The first generation computers used
vacuum tubes for circuitry and magnetic
drumsÂ for memory, and were often
enormous, taking up entire rooms.
Â The vacuum tubeÂ was developed by
Lee De Forest. AÂ vacuum tubeÂ is a device generally used to amplify a signal by controlling the movement of electrons in an evacuated space.
ColossusÂ Â wasÂ Â the firstÂ Â electronicÂ Â computerÂ Â ofÂ Â thisÂ Â era.Â It'sÂ Â everyÂ Â aspectÂ Â
wasÂ Â kept secret by British Government.
First fully electronic digital
computer built in the U.S.
Created at the University
ENIAC weighed 30 tons
contained 18,000 vacuum
Cost a paltry $487,000
(Universal Automatic Computer)
First generation computers were based on vacuum tubes.
The operating systems of the first generation computers were very slow.
They were very large in size.
Production of the heat was in large amount in first generation computers.
Machine language was used for programming.
First generation computers were unreliable.
They were difficult to program and use.
It is the Bendix G-15 General Purpose Digital Computer, aÂ First GenerationÂ computer introduced in 1956.
SECOND GENERATION OF COMPUTERS
The computers built in the 1950s and 1960s are considered the 2nd generation computers. These computers make use of the transistors invented by Bell Telephone laboratories and they had many of the same components as the modern-day computer. For instance, 2nd generation computers typically had a printer, some sort of tape or disk storage, operating systems, stored programs, as well as some sort of memory. These computers were also generally more reliable and were solid in design.
AÂ transistor computerÂ is aÂ computerÂ which uses discreteÂ transistorsÂ instead ofÂ vacuum tubes. The "first generation" of electronic computers used vacuum tubes, which generated large amounts of heat, were bulky, and were unreliable. A "second generation" of computers, through the late 1950s and 1960s featured boards filled with individual transistors andÂ . magnetic memory cores they were first developed in 1947 They. Transistors are most often used to regulate the flow of an electrical current and to switch electricity on and off.
Throughout the early 1960's, there were a number of commercially successful second generation computers used in business, universities, and government from companies such as Burroughs, Control Data, Honeywell, IBM, Sperry-Rand, and others. These second generation computers were also of solid state design, and contained transistors in place of vacuum tubes. They also contained all the components we associate with the modern day computer: printers, tape storage, disk storage, memory, operating systems, and stored programs. By 1965, most large business routinely processed financial information using second generation computers.
It was the stored program and programming languages that gave computers the flexibility to finally be cost effective and productive for business use. The stored program concept meant that instructions to run a computer for a specific function (known as a program) were held inside the computer's memory, and could quickly be replaced by a different set of instructions for a different function. A computer could print customer invoices andÂ minutesÂ later design products or calculate paychecks.
Main Characteristics of a second generation computer are..
Second generationÂ computerÂ machines were based on transistor technology.
Second generation computersÂ were smaller as compared to theÂ first generation computers
The computational time ofÂ Second generation computers was reduced to microseconds from milliseconds.
Second generation computers were more reliable and less prone to hardware failure. Hence, such computers required less frequent maintenance.
Second generation computers were more portable and generated less amount of heat.
ssembly language was used to program Second generation computers. Hence, programming became more time-efficient and less cumbersome.
Manual assembly of individual components into a functional unit was still required
3rd generation of computers
The 3rd Generation computers replaced transistors with âintegrated circuitsâ or I.C. was inverted by Jack Kilby as Texas instruments in 1958.
The 3rd generation computers using integrated circuits proved to be highly reliable, relatively inexpensive, and faster. Less human labour is required at assembly stage.
Example of some main frame computers developed during this generation are-
ICL(International computer limited.)
CDA(Control Data Corporation.)
Fourth Generation (1971-Present)
The microprocessor brought the fourth generation of computers, as thousands of integrated circuits were built onto a single silicon chip. What in the first generation filled an entire room could now fit in the palm of the hand. The Intel 4004 chip, developed in 1971, located all the components of the computerâfrom the central processing unit and memory to input/output controlsâon a single chip.
Time Period: 1975 to Today
Technology: VLSI (Very Large Scale Integration)
Incorporated many millions of transistors & electronic circuits on a single chip.
Size: Small as compared to first generation computer.
Processing: Faster then first generation computer
In 1981 IBM introduced its first computer for the home user, and in 1984 Apple introduced the Macintosh. Microprocessors also moved out of the realm of desktop computers and become more advanced.
As these small computers became more powerful, they could be linked together to form networks, which also led to the development of the Internet. Fourth generation computers also saw the development of the mouse and handheld devices.
FIFTH GENERATION COMPUTERS
Fifth generation computing devices, based onÂ artificial intelligence, are still in development, though there are some applications, such asÂ voice recognition, that are being used today. The use ofÂ parallel processingÂ and superconductors is helping to make artificial intelligence a reality.Â Quantum computationÂ and molecular andÂ nanotechnologyÂ will radically change the face of computers in years to come. The goal of fifth-generation computing is to develop devices that respond toÂ natural languageÂ input and are capable of learning and self-organization.
Less power consumption .
High performance, lower cost and very compact.
Computers based on artificial intelligence are available.
Portable note book computers introduced .
Memory chips up to 1 GB, hard disk drives up to 180 GB and optical disks up to 27 GB are available (still the capacity is increasing) .
As a result of the various improvements to the development of the computer we have seen the computer being used in all areas of life. It is a very useful tool that will continue to experience new development as time passes.
Computers are used in various areas of our life. Education, entertainment, sports, advertising, medicine, science and engineering, government, office and home are some of theÂ application areas of the computers.