Computer Basic- The Generations of Computers
Today we are presenting the topic Computer Basic- The Generations of Computers. The history of Computer, there are different generations of Computing. In this development five generations of computers is characterized by a technological development that fundamentally changed the way computers operate, resulting in increasingly smaller, cheaper, more powerful and more efficient devices.
Initially, the generation term was used to distinguish between varying hardware technologies. But nowadays, generation includes both hardware and software, which together make up an entire computer system.
There are totally five computer generations known till date. Each generation has been discussed in detail along with their time period, characteristics. We’ve used approximate dates against each generation which are normally accepted.
Following are the main five generations of computers:
1. First Generation
The period of first generation: 1940-1956. This type of computers is vacuum tube based for circuitry and magnetic drums for memory. They were very expensive to operate and in addition to using a great deal of electricity, generated a lot of heat, which was often the cause of malfunctions. These computers relied on machine language.
The UNIVAC and ENIAC computers are examples of first-generation computing devices. The UNIVAC was the first commercial computer delivered to a business client, the U.S. Census Bureau in 1951.
2. Second Generation
The period of second generation: 1957-1963. Transistor based. The transistor was invented in 1947 but did not see widespread use in computers until the late 1950s. The transistor was far superior to the vacuum tube, allowing computers to become smaller, faster, cheaper, more energy-efficient and more reliable than their first-generation predecessors.
Second-generation computers moved from cryptic binary machine language to symbolic, or assembly, languages, which allowed programmers to specify instructions in words. High-level programming languages were also being developed at this time, such as early versions of COBOL and FORTRAN.
3. Third Generation
The period of third generation: 1964-1971. Integrated Circuit based. Transistors were miniaturized and placed on silicon chips, called semiconductors, which drastically increased the speed and efficiency of computers.
Instead of punched cards and printouts, users interacted with third generation computers through keyboards and monitors and interfaced with an operating system, which allowed the device to run many different applications at one time with a central program that monitored the memory.
4. Fourth Generation
The period of fourth generation: 1971-1980. VLSI microprocessor based as thousands of integrated circuits were built onto a single silicon chip. The Intel 4004 chip, developed in 1971, located all the components of the computer—from the central processing unit and memory to input/output controls—on a single chip.
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 into many areas of life as more and more everyday products began to use microprocessors.
5. Fifth Generation
The period of fifth generation: Present and Beyond. Fifth generation computing devices, based on artificial intelligence, are still in development, though there are some applications, such as voice recognition, that are being used today. The use of parallel processing and superconductors is helping to make artificial intelligence a reality. Quantum computation and molecular and nanotechnology will radically change the face of computers in years to come. The goal of fifth-generation computing is to develop devices that respond to natural language input and are capable of learning and self-organization.