Computer Awareness- Generations of Computers

5 Generation of Computers- Study Notes for Exams





First Generation Computer (1946-1959) - Vacuum Tubes
  • Vacuum tubes was invented by John A Fleming in 1904.
  • The first computer used vacuum tubes for circuitary and magnetic drums for memory.
  • The first generation computer relied on machine language, the lowest level programming language understood by computers to perform operations.
  • Input was based on ounch cards, and paper tapes and output was displayed in printouts.
  • UNIVAC,ENIAC, IBM 701, IBM 650 ,EDVAC, EDSAC, BINAC are other examples.
  • UNIVAC was first delivered to the US census Bureau in 1951.
Second Generation Computer (1959- 1965)- Transistors
  • Transistor replaced vacuum tubes.
  • Transistor was invented by William Shockley, John Bardeen and Walter Barttain in 1947 in Bell Labs.
  • Second generation computers still relied on punched cards for input and printouts for outputs.
  • Second generation computer moved from cryptic binary machine language to symbolic or assembly language.
  • High level programming languages were also being developed at this time, such as early versions of COBOL. FORTRAN and BASIC.
  • Examples of second generation computers are IBM 1400 series, IBM 7000 series, Control Data 3600, GE 635, Honey Well 200, PDP, PDP I and UNIVAC 1108.
  • The GE-600 series was a family of 36 bit mainframe computers originating in the 1960's.


Third Generation C0mputer (1965-1971)-  Integrated Circuit

  • IC Chips invented by Jack Kilby in 1951.
  • Instead of punched cards and printouts, users interacted with third generation computers through keyboards and monitors and interfaced with an operatung system,
  • Computers for the first time become accesible to a mass audience because they were smaller and cheaper than their predecessors.
  • Report Programme Generator and PASCAL were introduced.
  • Exaples of thirrd generation computers are IBM-360 series, Honeywell-6000 series, IBM-370/168, TDC-316, ICL-1900 series .


Fourth Generation Computer (1971- 1980)- Microprocessors

  • Fourth Generation used VLSI (Very Large Scale Integration)
  • VLSI is nicknamed as miracle chip.
  • Used Pipeline processing.
  • Concept of Internet was used,
  • Languages used are C++, SQL etc.
  • Examples are DEC 10, STAR 1000, PDP II, CRAY-1 (Super computer), IBM 3090, CFRAY-2


Fifth Generation Computer( 1980-present) Artificial Intelligence

  • The VLSI technology became ULSI (Ultra Large Scale Integration) Technology.
  • Based on parallel processing hardware and AI(Artificial intelligence) Software.
  • AI used in Robotics, Neural Networks, Game playing.
  • Development of expert systems to make decision in real life situations.




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