Generations of Computers and its Characteristics
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Generations of Computers and its Characteristics:
As fundamental hardware technology of Computers evolved, each new generation of computer had greater speed, larger memory, and smaller size.
1. First Generation (1945-54) :
Computers of this generation were marked by following characteristics:
- central control by single CPU.
- ferrite core main memory.
- use of vacuum tubes which were very large.
- punched cards as input device.
- magnetic tapes and drums as secondary storage.
- machine language and assembly language for programming.
- access to one programmer at a time.
2. Second Generation (1955-1964) :
It started with invention of semi- conductor technology.
- Use of transistors which were very smaller than vacuum tubes.
- Floating point arithmetic hardware.
- High level programming languages like FORTRAN, COBOL, ALGOL.
- Magnetic disk was introduced as storage medium.
3. Third Generation (1965-1974) :
It was started with era of micro-electronics.
- Use of Integrated Circuits (ICs) which had many components like transistors and capacitors on a single chip. Small Scale Integration (SSI) was used.
- Magnetic disks, tapes of greater capacity.
- Very low cost, highly reliable, less power consumption and much smaller size.
- Use of MICR, scanners and plotters.
4. Fourth Generation (1975-1989) :
It started with Very Large Scale Integration (VLSI) techniques.
- Microprocessors were used as CPU.
- Parallel processing and multiprocessing.
- General purpose software were developed.
- Concept of Personal Computers developed.
- Semiconductor memories for storage.
5. Fifth Generation (1991- present) :
- Use of Ultra Large Scale Integration (ULSI), gallium-arsenic and optical technologies.
- Intelligent programming, knowledge based problem solving.
- Improved human-machine interface.
- Target of very high speed, very small size, and artificial Intelligence in computers.
Generation of Computers and its Characteristics
Generation of Computers and its Characteristics.
Tech writer at NewsandStory