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Generations of Computers and its Characteristics

Here Information helps us to understand the Generations and Characteristics of Computers.

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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.
Examples- ENIAC, Whirlwind I, EDSAC, UNIVAC I
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.
Examples- IBM 700, UNIVAC 1108, IBM 1620, IBM 7090
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.
Examples- DEC PDP/8, IBM System / 360 family.
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.
Examples- VAX-9000, Cray X-MP, IBM 3090.
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.
Examples- Intel family, Cray Research, Paragon, VPP500

Generation of Computers and its Characteristics
First Generation
Second Generation
Third Generation
Fourth Generation
Fifth Generation.
Generation of Computers and its Characteristics.
Tech writer at NewsandStory