five computer generations
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Five Computer Generations with example

Development of computer technology is increasing day by day. From the using of vacuum tubes in computers now we can see the using of AI (Artificial Intelligence) in computers. In this article we will learn about”five computer generations“. And I will introduce the examples of five computer generations so that you not get any confusion to learn about computer generations.

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If we look at the future of the computer the name of the Charles Babbage (Father of Computer) arises. Charles Babbage was a person who designed the first modern computer in 1801 and this machine was called difference engine.

Anyway, the development of computers has passed through various stages. The development of computer is divided into five categories which are called generations of computers.

Five Computer Generations with example

First Generation Computer (1942 – 1960)

First Generation Computer
Photo credit: wikipedia.org

The computer of this generation was developed in 1946 by Sir J.P. Eckert and J.W. Mauchly. This computer was named as Electronic Numerical Integrator and calculator (ENIAC). It was completed in a time period of 4 years. The machine contained 18000 vacuum tubes and 70000 resistors and there were 60000 button and switches in this calculator. The weight of this machine was 28 tones and consumption of electricity was 150 KW. After use if got heated and had to be cooled by water. It took only 200 millisecond to perform one addition. This calculator became very famous due to its speed.

Computers of first generation

UNIVAC- 1, IBM-701, IBM-605, Datamatrix-1000, EDSAC, MARK II, MARK III

Advantages of First Generation Computers

  • These computers were the fastest of their time.
  • They were programmed using machine language.
  • The electronic digital computers were introduced due to the vacuum tube technology

Disadvantages of First Generation Computers

  • Very big in size.
  • Not reliable.
  • Consumed large amount of energy.
  • Constant maintenance required.
  • More heat generated and air-conditioning was required.
  • More costly.
  • Very sow in speed (data processing).
  • It is difficult to programmed, because they used only machine language.
  • Non- portable.
  • Limited commercial use.

Second Generation Computer (1960-1965)

Second Generation Computer
Photo credit: Winipedia.org

The computers of second generations are based on the inventions of transistor (1948). Transistors were very small components are compared to vacuum tubes and the consumption of electricity was negligible as compared to first generation compared to first generation computers. The heating effect was low and size was comparatively small.

Computers of Second Generation

CDC-3600, IB-700, IBM-1401, ICL-1901, UNIVAC-1108, IBM-7094, RCA-501, CDC-1604

Advantages of Second Generation Computers

  • Low in cost.
  • Smaller in size.
  • Fast in speed.
  • Less heat generated.
  • More reliable and accurate in calculations.
  • Consume low power.
  • Used for commercial purpose.
  • Portable.
  • Assembly language was introduced. This language is easy to write program then machine language.

Disadvantages of Second Generation Computers

  • Air conditioning required.
  • Commercial production was difficult and these were very costly.
  • Constant (or frequent) maintenance required.
  • Only used for special purpose.

Third Generation Computer (1965-1975)

Third Generation Computer
Photo credit: Wikipedia.org

This is third generation and middle stage under the “five computer generations”. The computers of this generation could be developed after the development of Integrated Circuit. Integrated Circuits were made of silicon. A single 1C could hold a number of transistors and resistors. This was also called Chip. The computers of this generation were 1000 times fast as compared to first generation computers and their cost was comparatively low. The memory of these computers was much more and data processing became very easy.

Computers of Third Generation

CDC-1700, ICL-2903, PDP-11/45

Advantages of Third Generation Computers

  • Smaller in size.
  • Production cost was low.
  • Very fast in computational power.
  • More reliable.
  • Low power consumption.
  • Maintenance cost was low because failure rate of hardware was very low.
  • Magnetic disk used for external storage.
  • More storage capacity.
  • Easily portable.
  • Easy to operate.
  • Upgraded easily.
  • Widely used for various commercial applications all over the world.
  • Lower heat generated.
  • High-level languages were commonly used.
  • Many input/output devices were introduced such as mouse and keyboard etc.

 Disadvantages of Third Generation Computers

  • Air-conditioning required.
  • Highly sophisticated technology required for the manufacturer chips.

Forth Generation Computer (1971-1990)

Forth Generation Computer

This is we can say progress level of computer of computer under the “five computer generations”. The further development of 1C opened the doors for development of this generation. 1C could hold thousands of transistors on a single component. This technique is known as Large Scale Integrated Circuits. The computers using these circuits are called micro computers. These computers were manufactured by an American Company – Micro instrumentation and Telemetry Co. In 1981 IBM manufactured a personal computer and after that computers were installed almost at all commercial organizations, school, colleges, factories and offices.

Computers of Forth Generation

Intel-4004, Apples I & II, DCM-Spectrum

Advantages of Forth Generation Computers

  • Smaller in size.
  • Production cost is very low.
  • Very reliable.
  • Hardware failure is negligible.
  • Easily portable because of their small size.
  • Totally general purpose.
  • Air conditioning is not compulsory.
  • Very high processing speed.
  • Very large internal and external capacity.
  • Used advance input & output devices such as optical readers, laser printers, CDROM/DVD-ROM drives etc.

Disadvantages of Forth Generation Computers

  • Highly sophisticated technology required for the manufacturer of microprocessor chips.

Fifth Generation Computer (1990 onward)

Fifth Generation Computer

The computers, which can think and take decision like human beings have been characterized as fifth generation computers are also referred as thinking machines. They use VSLI (Very Large Scale Integration) and ULSI (Ultra Large Scale Integration). The speed is extremely high in fifth generation computer. Apart from this they can perform parallel processing. The concept of AI (Artificial Intelligence) has been introduced to allow the computer to take its own decision. It is still in a developmental stage. A lot of research and development work is going on in this area in United States and Japan but it will take some time before such machines are produced for use by the industry.

ULSIC (Ultra Large Scale Integrated Circuits) and AI (Artificial Intelligence) technology will be used in these computers.

Features of Fifth Generation Computers

  • Having their own thinking power.
  • Making decision themselves.
  • Having capabilities of learning.
  • Having capabilities of reasoning.
  • Having large capacity of internal storage.
  • Having extra high processing speed.
  • Having capabilities of parallel processing.

Quick review of five computer generations

First Generation Computer: First generation computer was developed in 1946 by Sir J.P. Eckert and J.W. Mauchly. The machine contained 18000 vacuum tubes and 70000 resistors and there were 60000 button and switches in this calculator. The weight of this machine was 28 tones and consumption of electricity was 150 KW. UNIVAC- 1, IBM-701, IBM-605, Datamatrix-1000 etc. are the example of first generation computer.

Second Generation Computer: The computers of second generations are based on the inventions of transistor. CDC-3600, IB-700, IBM-1401, ICL-1901 ect. are the example of second generation computer.

Third Generation Computer: The computers of this generation could be developed after the development of Integrated Circuit. The computers of this generation were 1000 times fast as compared to first generation computers. CDC-1700, ICL-2903, PDP-11/45 are the example of thirt generation of computer.

Forth Generation Computer: In forth generation personal computers were developed. In this generation computers were installed almost at all commercial organizations, school, colleges, factories and offices. Intel-4004, Apples I & II, DCM-Spectrum are the example of forth generation of computer.

Fifth Generation Computer: The computers, which can think and take decision like human beings have been characterized as fifth generation computers are also referred as thinking machines. ULSIC (Ultra Large Scale Integrated Circuits) and AI (Artificial Intelligence) technology will be used in these computers.

I hope you guys get lots of knowledge on”five computer generations“. Remember it most popular computers like Apple, Intel are invented in forth generation computer.

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About Subham Das

Hi, I am Subham, a technology lover boy and I like to play with new Android apps. I am so interested in tech and I also like to read about new tech article and new innovations of science. I can say I am a regular reader of tech magazines and blogs. I believe in the quote " Sharing of knowledge is earning of knowledge"
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