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November 25, 2015

Computer Awareness for Competitive Exams : Computer Generations

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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 soft-ware, which together make up an entire computer system. There are totally Five computer generations known till date.

First Generation

  • The period of first generation was 1942-1954. 
  • First generation of computer started with using vacuum tubes as the basic components for memory and circuitry for CPU (Central Processing Unit). In this generation mainly batch processing operating system we-re used. 
  • In this generation Punched cards, Paper tape, Magnetic tape Input & Output device were used. 
The main features of First Generation are : 
  • 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 computers of this generation were : 
  • 4- ENIAC, EDV AC, UNIV AC, IBM-701, IBM-650

Second Generation

  • The period of second generation was 1952-1964. 
  • This generation using the transistor was cheaper, consumed less power, more compact in size, more reliable and faster than the first generation machines made of vacuum tubes. 
  • In this generation, magnetic co-res 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 were used. 
  • There was Batch processing and Multiprogramming Operating system used. 
The main features of Second Generation are : 
  • 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. 
Some computers of this generation were :
  • IBM 1620, IBM 7094, CDC 1604, CDC 3600, UNIVAC 1108

Third Generation

  • The period of third generation was 1964-1972. 
  • The third generation of computer is marked by the use of Integrated Circuits (IC's). 
  • This development made computers smaller in size, reliable and efficient. 
  • In this generation Remote processing, T Se-sharing, Real-time, Multi-programming Operating System were used. 
  • High level languages were used during this generation. 
The main features of Third Generation are: 
  • More reliable. Smaller size.
  • Generate less heat.
  • Faster. Lesser maintenance. 
  • Still costly. A.C needed. 
  • Consumed lesser electricity. Support high level language. 
Some computers of this gene-ration were : 
  • IBM-360 series, Honeywell-6000 series, PDP (Personal Data Processor), IBM-370/168, TDC-316 

Fourth Generation 

  • The period of Fourth Generation was 1972-1990. 
  • The fourth generation is made of Very Large Scale Integrated (VLSI) circuits. 
  • Fourth Generation computers became more powerful, compact, reliable, and of fordable. As a result, it gave rise to personal computer (PC) revolution. 
  • In this generation Time sharing, Real time, Networks, Distributed Operating System were used. 
  • All the Higher level languages like C, C++ and DBASE etc. were used in this generation. 
The main features of Fourth Generation are : 
  • VLSI technology used. 
  • Very cheap. 
  • Portable and reliable. 
  • Use of PC's. Very small size. 
  • Pipeline processing. 
  • No A.C. needed. 
  • Concept of internet was introduced. 
  • Great developments in the fields of networks. 
  • Computers became easily available 
Some computers of this generation were : 
  • DEC 10, ST AR 1000, PDP 11, CRAY-1(Super Computer), CRAY-X-MP (Super Computer) 

Fifth Generation

  • The period of Fifth Generation is 1990-till date.
  • In the fifth generation, the VLSI became ULSI (Ultra Large Scale Integration) technology. 
  • This generation is based on parallel processing hardware and AI (Artificial Intelligence) software. 
  • All the Higher level languages like C and Java, .Net etc. are used in this generation. 
The main features of Fifth Generation are : 
  • VLSI technology. 
  • Development of true artificial intelligence. 
  • Development of Natural language processing. 
  • Advancement in Parallel Processing. 
  • Advancement in Superconductor technology. 
  • More user friendly interfaces with multimedia features. 
  • Availability of very powerful and compact computers at cheaper rates. 
shared by Shravan Varma Gadhiraju
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