Five Generations of Computer

Five Generation of Computer

Table of Contents

1.First Generation of Computers (1942-1955)
1.1.Advantages
1.2.Disadvantages

2.Second Generation Computers (1955-1964)
2.1.Advantages
2.2.Disadvantages

3.Third Generation Computers (1964-1975)
3.1.Advantages
3.2.Disadvantages

4.Fourth Generation Computers (1975-Present)
4.1.Advantages
4.2.Disadvantages

5.Fifth Generation Computers (Present And Still Continue)

We Can Divide These electronic Computer in Generations. We can Divide them in Five Generation according to technology used in them. The Five Generation of Computer are As Follows:

The First Generation of Computer (From 1942 - 1955)

We can say that the Start or the beginning of commercial computer age is from UNIVAC (Universal Automatic Computer). This Computer was developed by two scientists Mauchly and Echert at the Census Department of United States in 1947. In the duration of 1942-1955 the first generation computers were used. These Computer were based on vacuum tubes. Examples of first generation computers are ENIVAC and UNIVAC-1.

1.1 Advantages
In those Days Vacuum tubes were the only electronic component available.
These were Vacuum tubes technology that made possible to make electronic digital computers in those days.
These computers were that fast that could calculate data in millisecond.

1.1 Disadvantages
These computers were very large in size.
They were consuming a large amount of energy.
They became heated very soon due to of thousands of vacuum tubes.
These were not very reliable.
To make them rest in cool Air conditioning was required.
For Working for long time Constant maintenance was required.
They were Non-portable.
Very Costly commercial production.
They Limited commercial use.
Very slow speed.
Programming capabilities were Limited .
Machine language was Used only.
Magnetic drums were used which provide very less data storage.
Punch Card were used for input.
They were Not versatile and very faulty.

The Second Generation of Computer (1955 - 1964)

In second generation of computers Transistor were used. The scientists developed transistor in 1947 at Bell laboratories. These are the scientists include John Barden, William Brattain and William Shockley. By replacing vacuum tubes with transistors the size of the computers was decreased. This is the examples of second generation computers that are IBM 7094 series, IBM 1400 series and CDC 164 etc.

2.2 Advantages
This was Smaller in size as compared to the first generation computers.
The 2nd generation Computers were more reliable then First Generation of Computer.
They were Using less energy and were not heated.
Widely used for commercial.
They were Better portable as compared to the first generation computers.
They were Better in speed and could calculate data in microseconds
They were Using faster peripherals like tape drives, magnetic disks, printer etc.
The Assembly language was used instead of Machine language.
The Accuracy was improved.

2.2 Disadvantages
These also need Cooling system.
The Constant maintenance was also required
The Commercial production was difficult
These were used only for specific purposes
They were very Costly and not versatile
As same as Punch cards were used for input.

The Third Generation of Computers (1964 - 1975)

The  integrated circuits (IC) was used in Developing the Third generation computers. In 1958 Jack Kilby developed the concept of integrated circuit . It was an important invention in the computer field at that Time. The first IC was invented and used in 1961. The size of an IC is about ¼ square inch. There A single IC chip may contain thousands of transistors. These computer became smaller in size, faster, more reliable and less expensive. These are the examples of third generation computers which are IBM 370, IBM System/360, UNIVAC 1108 and UNIVAC AC 9000 etc.

3.3 Advantages
This was very Smaller in size as compared to previous generations.
And it was More reliable.
They Used less energy
They Produced less heat as compared to the previous two GOC (Generation of Computer).
They were Better in speed and could calculate data in nanoseconds.
They were Using fan for heat discharge to prevent damage.
The Maintenance cost was low because hardware failure is reare.
They were Totally general purpose
They Could be used for high-level languages.
Have a Good storage
Versatile to an extent
They were Less expensive
Have a Better accuracy
The Commercial production increased.
They were Using mouse and keyboard for input.

3.3 Disadvantages
The Air conditioning was required.
There is a Highly sophisticated technology required for the manufacturing of IC chips.


The Fourth Generation of Computers (1975 and Still Continue)

It was fourth generation of computers that started with the invention of Microprocessor. The Microprocessor contains thousands of ICs. In 1971 Ted Hoff produced the first microprocessor for Intel. It was known as Intel 4004. The technology of integrated circuits was improved rapidly. The LSI (Large Scale Integration) circuit and VLSI (Very Large Scale Integration) circuit was designed. It greatly reduced the size of computer. The size of modern Microprocessors is usually one square inch. It can have millions of electronic circuits. The examples of fourth generation computers are Apple Macintosh & IBM PC.

4.4 Advantages
These are More powerful and reliable than previous generations.
Very Small in size According to Previous Generations
They have Fast processing power with less power consumption
They use Fan for heat discharging and thus to keep them cold.
They required No air conditioning.
They were Totally general purpose
Commercial production
Less repairing is needed.
These are Cheapest among all generations
All types of High level languages can be used in this type of computers.

4.4 Disadvantages
The latest technology is required for manufacturing of Microprocessors.

Fifth Generation Computers (Present & Beyond)

The Scientists are working hard and Trying there best on the 5th generation computers with quite a few breakthroughs. It is based on the technique of Artificial Intelligence (AI). Computers can understand spoken words & imitate human reasoning. It Can respond itself to its surroundings using different types of sensors. The Scientists are constantly working to increase the processing power of computers. They are trying to create a computer with real IQ with the help of advanced programming and technologies.The are trying to make computer That very reliable as Human Understanding. IBM Watson computer's one example that outsmarts Harvard University Students. The advancement in modern technologies will revolutionize the computer in future. This will be the Fifth Generation of Computers.
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