Generations of computers

Generations of computers

From Mark Larkin

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Computer is an electronic device, used for storing and processing of Data in binary form (0,1). Right now, Computers have become highly advanced in such a way they are being used in every sector for every type of work. But computers were not made so advanced in the first attempt. 

There is a long history of computer development that we know as generations of computers. Among all, the first five generations of computers are quite important to know. Generations are defined as significant technological development that made computers more advanced, powerful and robust.

5 Generations of computers

1. First Generation computers (1940-1956): The computers that came between1940-1956 are called first generation computers. First generation computers were based on Vacuum tubes technology. Vacuum tubes were big in size, resulting in occupying lots of space. EDVAC, UNIVAC, IBM-701, IBM-650 are the first generation computers.

2. Second Generation computers (1956-1965):  Second generation computers were based on transistor chip technology. These transistors were short in size, thus making computers smaller than first generation computers. The use of transistors instead of vacuum tubes resulted, cheaper, efficient and small sized computers. Honeywell 400, IBM 7094, CDC 1604, CDC 3600, UNIVAC 1108 are examples of Second generation computers.

3. Third Generation computers (1965-1971): 1965-1971 were the time of third generation computers. In this timeframe, transistor technology was replaced with IC (integrated circuit chips). The use of integrated circuit chips made computers smaller than second generation computers. ICs chips are still in use in computers. Some examples of Third generation computers are: PDP-8, PDP-11, ICL 2900, IBM 360, IBM 370 etc.

4. Fourth Generation computers (1971-2010): The invention of microprocessors known as CPU was the foundation of Fourth generation computers. The microprocessor technology along with Integrated circuit chip made it possible to fit computers on desks and invention of laptops. IBM 4341, DEC 10, STAR 1000, PUP 11 are examples of fourth generation computers. 

5. Fifth Generation computers (2010- continue): Fifth generation computers are based on Artificial intelligence (AI). They are most advanced in all the computer generations. Microsoft’s cortana, apple's siri, Google’s search engine, IBM's Watson are the living examples of 5th generation computers.

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