Introduction OF Generation OF Computers:
It is clearly and fairly evident that the development of computer is a continuous process. However, the development of computers could be categorized into the following generations based on the technology used for the machine.
First Generation (1945-55)
All computers developed in the initial phase of computer growth (ENIAC, EDVAC, UNIVAC and Mark-1) belong to the first generation of computers. These computers were mostly made between 1945 and 1955. Computers developed in the generation used the Vacuum tubes. These computers were the fastest calculating device of their time. However, the memory size of these computers was limited. They were huge in size, valuable and unreliable.
Second Generation (1955-64)
Transistors were used in the second generation of computers. Transistors replaced vacuum tubes and gave birth to the second generation of computers (Like UNIVAC 2, IBM 1401 and CDC 1604). These computers were smaller in size, faster and more trustworthy as compared to the first generation computers.
Third Generation (1964-70)
In early 1960, the electronic technology of solid-state was introduced. The development of integrated circuits is referred to as Solid-state technology. The Integrated Circuits (ICs) are the gathering of many electronic devices, like transistors on a single chip (small piece) of silicon. The computers using this technology belong to the third generation. This generation of computers was even more reliable, faster and smaller than previous generation computers. The IBM 360, PDP 11 and HP 3000 are the computers developed in this generation.
Fourth Generation (1970 Onwards)
In 1970’s the integrated circuit technology was developed adequately to assimilate all main functions of a computer on a single chip called a microprocessor. The introduction of microprocessors brought the computer age into fourth generation. A direct result is the development of microcomputers like IBM PC and Apple Macintosh which brought computers down from the organizational level to the personal level.
Fifth Generation:(Present & Ahead)
Computing devices, based on artificial aptitude, are still in development, though there are some applications, for instance voice recognition, that are being used today. The use of parallel processing and superconductors is helping to make artificial intelligence a reality. Quantum computation and molecular and nanotechnology will radically transform the face of computers in years to come. The objective of fifth-generation computing is to build up devices that respond to natural language input and are proficient of learning and self-organization.