The development of modern computers took place into five distinct phases on the basis of main component, the size, processing speed, cost, memory capacity etc used by them are known as generation of computer. Each generation computer is made improvements over the previous generation generations in terms of technology. The improvement in technology resulted in computer lower cost, high speed, and smaller size, greater memory capacity and more reliable. There are five generations of computer. They are:
- First Generation Computer
- Second Generation Computer
- Third Generation Computer
- Fourth Generation Computer
- Fifth Generation Computer
First Generation Computer
First generation of computers was used during 1940-1956 A.D. which used vacuum tubes as the internal electronic components and magnetic drums for memory. Data and instructions were fed into the system through punched cards. Instructions were written in machine and assembly languages.
Features of First Generation Computer
- They were based on vacuum tube technology.
- They were very large in size and required a lot of space and non portable.
- The First generation of computer required great amount of energy and generated much heat.
- Computer had low level of accuracy and reliability.
- They used machine level language for programming.
- Processing speed was in a millisecond.
- They used the magnetic drum for primary memory.
- The operating cost as well as the cost of computer was very high.
- Punched cards were used as input device.
- They were very slow processing and operating time was in millisecond.
Second Generation Computer
The period of second generation of computer was from 1956-1963. The transistor replaced the vacuum tube based first generation computers. As the result, second generation computer became small size, cheaper, more reliable, faster, more accurate and consumed less power energy than first generation of computer. Magnetic cores were used as the primary memory and magnetic disks as secondary storage devices. Punched cards were used for feeding data and instruction. Instruction was written in high level language.
Features of Second Generation Computer
- Second generation of computer was based on transistor technology.
- They were faster, more reliable, smaller, and accurate than first generation of computer.
- Processing and operating speed was microsecond.
- They were portable and generated less amounts of head than first generation of computer.
- Programming language was assembly language.
- Primary memory was Magnetic core and secondary magnetic tape.
- Punched cards were used as input device and printed output operation.
Third Generation Computer
The period of third generation of computer was from 1964-1970 A.D. Third generation of computer was based on Integrated circuits (ICs) consisting of several components like transistors, registers, capacitors grown on a single chip of silicon. Development of IC made computers smaller, cheaper and more reliable. Third generation of computers was remote processing, time sharing and multi programming operating system. Simi conductor was primary and magnetic disk secondary memory. Keyboard and monitor were used as input and output device respectively for the first time.
Features of Third Generation Computer
- They were based on IC (Integrated Circuit).
- Third generation of computers was smaller, accurate and more reliable than previous generation of computers.
- They had faster and larger primary and secondary storage as compared to previous generation of computer.
- They were able to reduce computational time and had low maintenances cost.
- They could understand assembly and high level language.
- Their operating and processing speed was increased to nanoseconds from microseconds.
- Simi conductor was primary and magnetic disk secondary memory.
- Computer became portable because of development of personal computer or desktop.
Fourth Generation Computer
After 1970 the fourth generation computers were built. The fourth generation computers were the extension of third generation technology. The fourth generation computers emerged-k|s6 eof]_ with development of the VLSI (Very Large Scale Integration).With the help of VLSI technology microprocessor came into existence-cl:tTj_. The computers were designed by using microprocessor, as thousands of integrated circuits were built onto a single silicon chip. The fourth generation computers became more powerful, compact, reliable and affordable. As a result, they give rise to personal computer (PC) revolution.
Features of Fourth Generation Computer
- Fourth generations of computers are based on microprocessor.
- They are more powerful, smaller, portable, affordable and more reliable than previous generation of computer.
- They are supports multi-programming, multi-processing and multi-media.
- Fourth generations of computer have faster and larger primary and secondary storage as compared to previous generation of computer.
- Fourth generation computers are perform calculations and operation up to picoseconds.
- Microprocessor made easy to develop microcomputer such as PCs, laptop and notebook.
- Graphical user interface make this computer user friendly.
Fifth Generation Computer
Fifth generation of computer will be base on artificial intelligence. This generation of computer is still in development stage. Scientists are trying to develop this kind of computer since 1990. Fifth generation computer will use artificial intelligence and bio chip as memory device so that they can think and decide like human being. With help of Bio chips, computer will have the power of sense, logic and decision making capability. Fifth generation of computer will understand and communicate natural language with user. They can store vast knowledge database, search rapidly through database and they could understand and type of object and reacting like human being.
Features of Fifth Generation Computer
- The fifth generation of computers will use super large scale integrated chips.
- Fifth generation computer will be full parallel processing capacity.
- Computer will use super conductor memory like bio chips as memory device so that:; the computer speed will be very high.
- They will have artificial intelligence.
- The will able to recognize image and graphic.
- Fifth generation computer a aims to be solve high complex problems including decision make. Logical reasoning.
- They will be able to understand and communicate like human being.
- Fifth generation of computer will be base on fully artificial intelligence.
- They will have power of sense because of Bio chips are made up of Biological organism.