Computer Generation

Topics: Computer, Personal computer, Microprocessor Pages: 12 (3007 words) Published: May 18, 2013
Computer Generations
Generation in computer terminology is a change in technology a computer is/was being used. 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

S.N.| Generation & Description|
1| First Generation
The period of first generation: 1946-1959. Vacuum tube based.| 2| Second Generation
The period of second generation: 1959-1965. Transistor based.| 3| Third Generation
The period of third generation: 1965-1971. Integrated Circuit based.| 4| Fourth Generation
The period of fourth generation: 1971-1980. VLSI microprocessor based.| 5| Fifth Generation
The period of fifth generation : 1980-onwards.ULSI microprocessor based| First Generation
The period of first generation was 1946-1959.
First generation of computer started with using vacuum tubes as the basic components for memory and circuitry for CPU(Central Processing Unit). These tubes like electric bulbs produced a lot of heat and were prone to frequent fusing of the installations, therefore, were very expensive and could be afforded only by very large organisations. In this generation mainly batch processing operating system were used. In this generation Punched cards, Paper tape, Magnetic tape Input & Output device were used. There were Machine code and electric wired board languages used.

The main features of First Generation are:
* Vacuum tube technology
* Unreliable
* Supported Machine language only
* Very costly
* Generate lot of heat
* Slow Input/Output device
* Huge size
* Need of A.C.
* Non portable
* Consumed lot of electricity
Some computer of this generation were:
* IBM-701
* IBM-650
Second Generation
The period of second generation was 1959-1965.
This generation using the transistor were cheaper, consumed less power, more compact in size, more reliable and faster than the first generation machines made of vaccum tubes.In this generation, magnetic cores were used as primary memory and magnetic tape and magnetic disks as secondary storage devices. In this generation assembly language and high level programming language like FORTRAN, COBOL were used. There were Batch processing and Multiprogramming Operating system used.

The main features of Second Generation are:
* Use of transistors
* Reliable as compared to First generation computers
* Smaller size as compared to First generation computers
* Generate less heat as compared to First generation computers * Consumed less electricity as compared to First generation computers * Faster than first generation computers
* Still very costly
* A.C. needed
* Support machine and assmebly languages
Some computer of this generation were:
* IBM 1620
* IBM 7094
* CDC 1604
* CDC 3600
* UNIVAC 1108
Third Generation
The period of third generation was 1965-1971.
The third generation of computer is marked by the use of Integrated Circuits (IC's) in place of transistors.A single I.C has many transistors, resistors and capacitors along with the associated circuitry.The I.C was invented by Jack Kilby. This development made computers smaller in size, reliable and efficient. In this generation Remote processing, Time-sharing, Real-time, Multi-programming Operating System were used. High level language (FORTRAN-II TO IV, COBOL, PASCAL PL/1, BASIC, ALGOL-68 etc.) were used during this generation.

The main features of Third Generation are:
* IC used
* More reliable
* Smaller size
* Generate...
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