Generation of computer 1st to 5th pdf

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In competitive exams, the subject of computer fundamentals is often overlooked as it typically only comprises a small portion of the test. However, the questions that are asked on this subject are relatively simple and can be easily answered with proper preparation. To assist you in your studies, we have compiled a collection of detailed notes on the generation of computers. By reviewing these notes, you will be able to gain a deeper understanding of the subject and increase your chances of success in your exam. Don’t overlook the importance of computer fundamentals, take the time to review our notes and give yourself an edge in the exam

Generation of Computer 1st to 5th with examples

▪ In the current era, the term “generation” in computer terminology refers to both hardware and software components of a computer system. However, in the past, the term was primarily used to distinguish between different advancements in hardware technology. It was used to differentiate between various hardware technologies in the computer industry.

▪ In the past, when modern computing tools such as graphing calculators, spreadsheets, and computer algebra systems were not yet available, mathematicians and inventors relied on mechanical calculators to ease the computational workload. These mechanical calculators were used to perform mathematical operations and were essential tools for performing complex calculations.

8 Mechanical Calculators Before the Invention of the Modern Computer.

  1. Abacus (ca. 2700 BC)
  2. Pascal’s Calculator (1652)
  3. Stepped Reckoner (1694)
  4. Arithmometer (1820)
  5. Comptometer (1887) and Comptograph (1889)
  6. The Difference Engine (1822)
  7. Analytical Engine (1834)
  8. The Millionaire (1893)
Analytical Engine, Built by Charles Babbage
Analytical Engine, Built by Charles Babbage (Image Credit: Cronatec)

▪ The early computers were not as technologically advanced as the current ones. However, with the passage of time, computers have undergone significant improvements in terms of speed, accuracy, size, and cost. This long period of evolution is often classified into different stages known as computer generations. These generations reflect the advancements made in computer technology over time.

▪ There are five computer generations known to date. Each generation has been discussed in detail along with its time period and characteristics.

  1. First Generation Computers (1940-1956)
  2. Second Generation Computers (1956-1963)
  3. Third Generation Computers (1964-1971)
  4. Fourth Generation Computers (1971-Present)
  5. Fifth Generation Computers (Present and Beyond)

Let’s take a look at the history of computer generation.

First Generation of Computers (1940-1956)

▪ First generation of computers based on vacuum tubes.

▪ The period of the first-generation Computer is 1940-1956.

 ▪ Examples of first-generation computers:

  • ENIAC
  • EDVAC
  • UNIVAC
  • IBM-750
  • UNIVAC-1 (Universal Automatic Computer)
Generation of Computer
First Generation Computer IBM-750/760 (Credit: IBM Redbooks)

Main features of the First-Generation Computer

  • Based on Vacuum tube technology
  • Used machine language only
  • Very costly
  • Produced a lot of heat
  • Consumed Huge size
  • Need AC for cooling
  • Consumes a lot of electricity
  • Unreliable
  • Non-portable (Large size)
  • Slow Input / Output process
Generation of Computer
first general-purpose electronic digital computer (Image Source: Wikimedia Commons)

 2nd Generation of Computer (1956-1963)

▪ Computers of this generation used transistors.

▪ It supported assembly language as well as high-level programming languages like FORTRAN, and COBOL.

Examples of second-generation computers are:

  • IBM 1400 series
  • IBM 1620
  • IBM 7094 series
  • CDC 1604
  • CDC 3600
  • UNIVAC 1107
Generation of Computer
IBM 1400 Series: IBM 1401, Second-Generation Computer (Credit: IBM)

The main features of the second generation are:

▪ Transistors-based computer
▪ It Supported machine and assembly languages.

▪ Generates less heat as compared to first-generation computers
▪ Smaller size as compared to first-generation computers

▪ Consumed less electricity as compared to first-generation computers

▪ Faster than first-generation computers

▪ Reliable compares to first-generation computers.
▪ Still very costly
▪ AC required for cooling

CDC 3600, 2nd Generation Computer
CDC 3600, 2nd Generation Computer (Credit: CHM)

 3rd Generation of Computer (1964-1971)

Third-generation computers are based on Integrated Circuits (ICs).

▪ It supported remote time-sharing, processing, and multi-programming operating system.

▪ Large magnetic core, magnetic tape/disk type memory used in this generation of computers.

▪ List of High-level languages used in this generation
– FORTRAN-II
– COBOL
– PASCAL PL/1
– BASIC
– ALGOL-68

Examples of third-generation computer

  • UNIVAC 1108
  • UNIVAC AC 9000
  • IBM-370/168
  • IBM-360 series
  • Honeywell-6000 series
  • PDP (Personal Data Processor)
  • TDC-316
Generation of Computer
UNIVAC 9000 Series, Third-Generation Computer (Photo Credit: H. MüllerCC BY-SA 2.5, via Wikimedia Commons)

The main features of the third generation are:

▪ Based on Integrated Circuits (ICs).
▪ More reliable than 1st and 2nd generations.

▪ More Smaller sizes.
▪ Produced less heat compared to previous generations.
• Faster than vacuum tubes and Transistor-based computers.

• Lesser maintenance
• Costly
• AC required
• Consumed lesser electricity
• Supported high-level language

NE555 IC Component
NE555 IC Component

 4th Generation Computers (1971-1980)

▪ Fourth-generation computers are based on Very Large Scale Integrated (VLSI) circuits.

▪ This generation of computers, supported time-sharing, real-time networks, and distributed operating systems were used.

▪ All the high-level languages like C, C++, DBASE, etc., were used in this generation.

▪ Fourth-generation computers were built between 1971 to 1980.

▪ It uses semiconductor memory such as RAM (Random Access Memory) and ROM (Read Only Memory) etc.

Examples of Fourth generation computers

  • Apple Macintosh
  • IBM PC
  • DEC 10
  • STAR 1000
  • PDP 11
  • CRAY-1 (Super Computer)
  • CRAY-X-MP (Super Computer)
Generation of Computer
Apple Macintosh, 4th Generation Computer (Photo Credit: Macrumors)
▪ The Apple Macintosh was introduced on January 24, 1984 by former Apple CEO Steve Jobs.

▪ It was equipped with a 9-inch black and white display, an 8MHz Motorola 68000 processor, 128KB of RAM, a 3.5-inch floppy drive.

The main features of fourth-generation computers

▪ Based on VLSI technology
▪ Very cheap
▪ Use of Personal Computers
▪ Very small size
▪ Semiconductor memory (ROM, RAM)
▪ Pipeline processing
▪ Portable and reliable
▪ No AC required
▪ Concept of the internet was introduced

5th Generation of Computer (1980 to till date)

▪ Fifth-generation computers are based on Ultra Large Scale Integration (ULSI) technology.

▪ This generation supports Parallel processing hardware and AI (Artificial Intelligence) software.

▪ All the high-level languages like C and C++, Java, .Net, etc., are used in this generation.

▪ Since it supports AI technology, it can understand natural language or human language.

Examples of fifth-generation computers

  • Desktop
  • Laptop
  • Notebook
  • Ultrabook
  • Chromebook
ASUS Chromebook, 11th Generation Intel, 5th Generation Computer
ASUS Chromebook, 11th Generation Intel, 5th Generation Computer (Photo Credit: ASUS)

The main features and Characteristics of fifth-generation computers

 ▪ Based on ULSI (Ultra Large Scale Integration) technology

▪ True artificial intelligence
▪ Multimedia features
▪ Development of Natural language processing

▪ More user-friendly interface
▪ Advancement in Parallel Processing
▪ Advancement in Superconductor technology

Faster Solid State Drive (SSD) memory, It is faster than Hard Disk Drives (HDD).

▪ Availability of very powerful and compact computers at cheaper rates.

Generations of Computer Chart

Generation of ComputerMain Electronic ComponentProgramming LanguageMain MemoryExample
1st GenerationVacuum tubeMachine LanguageMagnetic tapes and magnetic drumsIBM 750, IBM 701, ENIAC, UNIVAC
2nd GenerationTransistorMachine language and assembly languageMagnetic core and magnetic tape/diskIBM 1400 series, IBM 7090 and 7094, UNIVAC 1107, CDC 3600
3rd GenerationIntegrated circuits (ICs)High-level languageLarge magnetic core, magnetic tape/diskIBM 360, IBM 370, PDP, B6500, UNIVAC 1108, UNIVAC AC 9000
4th GenerationVery large-scale integration (VLSI)semiconductor memory (such as RAM, ROM, etc.)High-level languageIBM PC, STAR 1000, Apple Macintosh, Alter 8800
5th GenerationUltra Large-Scale Integration (ULSI), Aartificial intelligence (AI)Faster Solid State Drive (SSD) memoryUnderstand natural language or human languageNotebook, Desktops, laptops, tablets, smartphones

Frequently Asked Questions 

Question 1: 5th generation computers are based on which technology?

Fifth-generation computers are based on Ultra Large Scale Integration (ULSI) technology.

Question 2: Which electronic components are used in fifth-generation computers?

Fifth-generation computers are based on Ultra Large Scale Integration (ULSI) technology.

Question 3: What are the examples of first-generation computers?

Some example of first-generation computers is ENIAC, EDVAC, UNIVAC

Question 4: What are the examples of fifth-generation computers?

• Notebooks
• Desktop PCs of Pentium
• Workstations of SUN.
• IBM SP/2.

Question 5: What are examples of second-generation computers?

• IBM 1400 series
• IBM 1620
• IBM 7094 series
• CDC 1604
• CDC 3600
• UNIVAC 1108

Question 6: What are the main features of 2nd generation computers?

• Transistors-based computer
• It Supported machine and assembly languages.
• Generates less heat as compared to first-generation computers
• Smaller size as compared to first-generation computers
• Consumed less electricity as compared to first-generation computers
• Faster than first-generation computers
• Reliable compares to the first generation computers.
• Still very costly
• AC required for cooling

Question 7: When was the 2nd generation computer invented?

1949-1965

Computer generations pdf

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