Generation of Computers | 1st to 5th Generation Computers

As we all know, computers were extremely expensive prior to the 1990s. It means that no ordinary person could afford to buy the computer at the time.

However, in recent years, ordinary people such as students, school teachers, college professors, and doctors have been able to afford laptops or computers with cutting-edge technology.

Computer Generations

Computers are classified into five generations, which are listed below:

  1. First generation computer
  2. Second generation computer
  3. Third generation computer
  4. Fourth generation computer
  5. Fifth generation computer

Because of the arrival of new technology, computer generations were changing.

Let us now briefly describe each of the computer generations listed above.

First Generation Computers (1942 to 1955)

UNIVAC is credited with ushering in the commercial computer age (Universal automatic computer). It was created in 1947 by two scientists, Mauchly and Echert, at the United States Census Bureau.

From 1942 to 1955, first-generation computers were in use. They were built around vacuum tubes.

At the time, all programming was done in absolute machine lang

The first computer, known as the UNIVAC-1, was introduced in 1951. This computer machine used magnetic media for data input and output. This computer operated successfully until 1963. Valve Technology was used to build those computers. The main limitation of this technology was its high power consumption and low reliability.

ENIVAC and UNIVAC-1 are two examples of first-generation computers.

Advantages of first generation computers

At the time, vacuum tubes were the only electronic component available. Vacuum tube technology enabled the development of electronic digital computers.

The benefits of using a first-generation computer at the time:

  • These computers could perform calculations in milliseconds.

Disadvantages of first generation computers

Here is a list of some of the disadvantages of using first-generation computers at the time:

  • The computers were very large in size, consumed a lot of energy, heated up quickly due to thousands of vacuum tubes, and were not very reliable.
  • Air conditioning was necessary.
  • Constant maintenance was required.
  • Expensive commercial productions.
  • Commercial use is restricted.
  • Very slow speed

Second Generation Computer (1955 to 1964)

A new technology appeared, and thus a new generation of computer, known as the second generation computer, appeared. The technology was known as transistor technology.

Transistors were used in second generation computers.

Bell Laboratories scientists invented the transistor in 1947. John Barden, William Brattain, and William Shockley are among these scientists.

By replacing vacuum tubes with transistors, the size of the computers was reduced.

Computers built with transistor technology included:

  • a smaller size
  • more reliable
  • Extremely effective

In comparison to the first generation of computers.

The IBM-1401 computer was the most popular at the time.

Second generation computers include the IBM 7094 series, the IBM 1400 series, and the CDC 164, among others.

Advantages of second generation computers

Here are some of the primary benefits of using a second-generation computer at the time:

  • Smaller in size than the first generation computers.
  • Second-generation computers were more reliable.
  • They consumed less energy and were not heated.
  • Wider commercial use.
  • Improved portability over first-generation computers.
  • Beta speed and the ability to calculate data in microseconds
  • Tape drives, magnetic discs, printers, and other faster peripherals were used.

Disadvantages of second generation computers

Here are some of the major drawbacks of using second-generation computers at the time:

  • A cooling system was needed.
  • Constant maintenance was required.
  • Commercial production was challenging.
  • Used only for specific purposes
  • Punch cards were used as input devices.

Third Generation Computer (1964 to 1975)

Now, another new technology known as integrated circuits, or ICs, appeared, resulting in the creation of the third generation computer. The integrated circuits were used in the third generation of computers (ICs).

In 1958, Jack Kilby invented the concept of integrated circuits. It was a significant breakthrough in the field of computing.

In 1961, the first integrated circuit (IC) was invented and used. An IC is about 1/4 square inch in size. Thousands of transistors can be found on a single IC chip.

The computer shrank in size, became faster, more reliable, and less expensive.

These computers made use of more versatile programs such as real-time operating systems, multi-programming techniques, and database management.

At the time, the IBM-370 was the most popular machine of its generation.

Third-generation computers include the IBM 370, IBM system/360, UNIVAC 1108 and UNIVAC AC 9000, among others.

Advantages of third generation computers

The following are some of the primary benefits of using third-generation computers:

  • Less expensive.
  • Smaller in size than the previous generation.
  • Reduce your energy consumption.
  • Highly reliable.
  • Improved speed and ability to calculate data in nanoseconds.
  • To prevent damage, a fan was used for heat discharge.

Disadvantages of third generation computers

The following are some of the major drawbacks of using third-generation computers:

  • Air conditioning was necessary.
  • IC chip manufacturing required highly sophisticated technology.

Fourth Generation Computer (1975 to present)

The fourth generation computer is introduced in 1971. At the time, a microprocessor chip was invented, causing a revolution in the computer world.

The invention of the microprocessor ushered in the fourth generation of computers. Thousands of integrated circuits (ICs) make up the microprocessor.

Ted Hoff created the first microprocessor for Intel in 1971. It was dubbed the Intel 4004. The technology of integrated circuits is rapidly improving. It was designed the LSI (Large Scale Integration) and VLSI (Very Large Scale Integration) circuits. It significantly reduced the size of the computer.

Modern microprocessors are typically 1 square inch in size. It is capable of housing millions of electronic circuits.

We have been using microprocessor chips since that time (1971), or you can say that fourth generation computers have been used since 1971.

Apple Macintosh and IBM PC are examples of fourth generation computers.

Advantages of fourth generation of computers

The following are the benefits of using computer machines based on the fourth generation over previous generations:

  • Much quicker and less expensive
  • Stronger and more reliable than previous generations
  • Uses advanced techniques despite its small size
  • Third generation computers have greater data processing capacity than equivalent size previous generation computers.
  • Fast processing power while consuming less electricity
  • Fan for heat dissipation and thus cooling. There's no need for air conditioning.
  • Advanced application software packages such as process controllers, relational database management, electronic spreadsheets, and CAD are used (Computer aided design).
  • In this type of computer, any high-level language can be used.

Disadvantages of fourth generation computers

The following are the primary disadvantages of fourth-generation computers:

  • Microprocessor manufacturing requires cutting-edge technology.

Fifth Generation Computer (present to beyond)

This generation is still in the works. Scientists are hard at work on fifth-generation computers, with only a few breakthroughs so far. It is based on the artificial intelligence technique (AI).

All computer machines built on the 5th generation computer will employ parallel processing techniques and artificial intelligence. Parallel processing techniques and artificial intelligence are fundamentally similar to the ones used by our human brain. As a result, all computers built using 5th generation techniques are being designed to think like human brains.

Computers can comprehend spoken language and mimic human reasoning. Can react to its surroundings by using various types of sensors.

Scientists are constantly working to improve computer processing power. They are attempting to create a computer with true intelligence using advanced programming and technology.

One example is the IBM Watson computer, which outwits Harvard University students. Modern technological advancements will revolutionize computers in the future.

Computer Fundamentals Quiz


« Previous Topic Next Topic »


Follow/Like Us on Facebook


Subscribe Us on YouTube