Introduction of Generation of Computer:
As we have learned about computers and types of computers, now, its turn to know about the generation of computer. Computer as work on today’s life this not worked before there are several modifications in the computer-related various features such as size, speed, power requirements, and operations.
There are various generation computers which are explained below:
First Generation Computers (1940-1956):
They developed the first generation computers using the Vacuum tubes for its circuitry. This generation of computers is big and takes up an entire room for its setup because of this they needed improvement in its structure and size.
They take more power and are slower than any other generation of computers. This generation of computers used a magnetic drum due to which they store data in memory.
This generation of computer is fully dependent on machine language. A machine language is the lowest-level programming language understood by computers.
It used punched cards because of which this generation computer became able to take input from the user. It gives outputs through printing operation.
There are various computers developed in this generation for example UNIVAC, ENIAC, etc.. UNIVAC was the first commercial computer delivered to a business client, the U.S. Census Bureau in 1951.
In conclusion the first generation computers are having Vacuum tubes, Magnetic drums, punch cards which makes this generation computer big and required more power for its operation.
Second Generation Computers (1956-1963):
They developed the second generation computers with various changes in the first generation of computers because to improve the working of computers. This generation has a revolutionary effect in the digital world due to the introduction of transistors.
It uses transistors in the place of vacuum tubes due to better circuitry of computers. The transistor having the better working as compared to that of vacuum tubes.
Transistors are small and are having fast processing speed unlike vacuum tubes. They developed transistors at Bell Labs in 1947, but they came in use after the 1950s.
The second-generation computer has various advancements as compared to that of the first generation of computers such as less heat produced, less power is used and operating the computer became easier because of the use of Assembly Language. Assembly Language allows users to give instructions in the form of words.
Second-generation computers also introduced various High Level programming languages such as COBOL and FORTRAN. There are various second-generation computers such as IBM 1401, IBM 7090 and 7094, UNIVAC 1107.
Third Generation Computers (1964-1971):
The third generation computers came into existence because of the introduction of Integrated Circuits (ICs). Integrated Circuits used semiconductors which contained silicon chips additionally with the number of transistors installed in it.
This decreased the size of computers as compared to other generations of computers. The third generation of computers are also having various advancements in it such as speed, size, heat, power consumption.
It has replaced punched cards used for input with the keyboards. It has also replaced printouts used for output has also with monitors having operating systems (OS) as an interface between the user and the computer.
Computers became cheaper in cost and smaller because of which it became easily available to the mass audience. There are various computers produced in this generation such as PDP-8, PDP-11, ICL 2900, IBM 360, and IBM 370.
Fourth Generation Computers (1971-Present):
Fourth Generation computers came into existence due to the introduction of the microprocessor. Microprocessor consists of a number of ICs placed on a silicon chip.
This time the computer became as small as our hands, it means the computer became easily portable from one place to another. This generation of computers became available to home users easily because of various features such as cheaper cost, small size, speed, no heat, etc..
The Intel 4004 chip, which was developed in 1971, containing various components of the computer such as the Central Processing Unit (CPU) and the memory to input/output controls on a single chip.
This generation introduced the internet because the computers became easily available to users and these helped in making networks. This generation of computers also has GUI (Graphical User Interface), the mouse, and the handheld devices which improved the working of the computer. Various examples of fourth-generation ar such as IBM 4341, DEC 10, STAR 1000, PUP 11.
Fifth Generation Computer (Present and Beyond):
Fifth-generation computers are still in development. This generation includes Artificial Intelligence.
We can see some examples of this generation in our day-to-day life such as Voice Recognition System. Artificial Intelligence work on the principle of parallel processing because of the use of semiconductors in its circuitry.