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The Five Generations



The first electronic computer was designed and built at the
University of Pennsylvania based on vacuum tube technology.
Vacuum tubes were used to perform logic operations and to
store data.
Generations of computers have been divided into FIVE ERAS
according to the development of technologies used to
fabricate the processors, memories and I/O units.
A GENERATION refers to the state of improvement in the development of a
product. This term is also used in the different advancements of computer
With each new generation, the circuitry has gotten smaller and more
advanced than the previous generation before it.
As a result of the miniaturization, speed, power, and increased
memory capacity of computers their usage has proportionally
increased. New discoveries are constantly being developed that affect the
way we live, work and play.
Introduction cont’d
Computer Evolution
First Generation : 1945 55
Second Generation : 1955 65
Third Generation : 1965 75
Fourth Generation : 1975 89
Fifth Generation : 1989 to present
Sixth Generation : Future
Transitional period
During the period of 1940 to 1956 first generation of computers were
The first generation computers used
vacuum tubes for circuitry and magnetic
drums for memory, and were often
enormous, taking up entire rooms.
The vacuum tube was developed by
Lee De Forest. A vacuum tube is a device generally
used to amplify a signal by controlling the movement of electrons in an
evacuated space.
First Generation Computers
The first computers used vacuum tubes for circuitry and magnetic drums for memory and
were often enormous, taking up entire rooms. They were very expensive to operate and in
addition to using a great deal of electricity, the first computers generated a lot of heat,
which was often the cause of malfunctions.
First generation computers relied on machine language, the lowest-level programming
language understood by computers, to perform operations, and they could only solve one
problem at a time, and it could take days or weeks to set-up a new problem. Input was
based on punched cards and paper tape, and output was displayed on printouts.
The UNIVAC and ENIAC computers are examples of first-generation computing devices.
The UNIVAC was the first commercial computer delivered to a business client, the U.S.
Census Bureau in 1951.
First Generation Computers
COLOSSUS was the first electronic computer of this era.
It's every aspect was kept secret by British Government.
First Generation computers often filled an entire room. This is an example
of one below.
First fully electronic digital
computer built in the U.S.
Created at the University
of Pennsylvania
ENIAC weighed 30 tons
contained 18,000 vacuum
Cost a paltry $487,000
UNIVAC -1951
(Universal Automatic Computer)
First generation computers were based on vacuum tubes.
The operating systems of the first generation computers were very slow.
They were very large in size.
There was a great production of the heat in first generation computers.
Machine language was used for programming.
First generation computers were unreliable.
They were difficult to program and use.
It is the Bendix G-15 General Purpose Digital Computer, a First
Generation computer introduced in 1956.
THE COMPUTERS built in the 1950s and 1960s
are considered the 2nd generation computers.
These computers make use of the transistors
invented by Bell Telephone laboratories and they
had many of the same components as the
modern-day computer.
For instance, 2nd generation computers typically
had a printer, some sort of tape or disk storage,
operating systems, stored programs, as well as
some sort of memory.
These computers were also generally more
reliable and were solid in design.
A TRANSISTOR computer is a computer which
uses discrete transistors instead of vacuum tubes.
The "first generation" of electronic computers used
vacuum tubes, which generated large amounts of
heat, were bulky, and were unreliable.
A "second generation" of computers, through the
late 1950 and 1960 featured boards filled with
individual transistors and. magnetic memory cores
they were first developed in 1947.
The Transistors are most often used to regulate the
flow of an electrical current and to switch electricity
on and off.
Main Characteristics of a Second Generation Computer are..
Second generation computer machines were based on transistor technology.
Second generation computers were smaller as compared to the first generation computers
The computational time of Second generation computers was reduced to microseconds
from milliseconds.
Second generation computers were more reliable and less prone to hardware failure.
Hence, such computers required less frequent maintenance.
Second generation computers were more portable and generated less amount of heat.
Assembly language was used to program Second generation computers. Hence,
programming became more time-efficient and less cumbersome.
Manual assembly of individual components into a functional unit was still required
The 3
Generation computers replaced
transistors with “integrated circuits” or I.C.
was inverted by Jack Kilby as Texas
instruments in 1958.
The 3
generation computers using
integrated circuits proved to be highly
reliable, relatively inexpensive, and faster.
Less human labor is required at assembly
Third Generation of Computers
Third Generation Computers
Third Generation Computers
What in the first generation filled an entire room could now fit in the palm of the
hand. The Intel 4004 chip, developed in 1971, located all the components of the
computerfrom the central processing unit and memory to input/output
controlson a single silicon chip.
Fourth Generation Computers
Fourth Generation Computers
The microprocessor brought the fourth generation of computers, as thousands of
integrated circuits were built onto a single silicon chip.
It is important to note that the correlation of the fourth generation of computers
and the Internet.
In 1981 IBM introduced its first computer for the home user, and in 1984 Apple
introduced the Macintosh. Microprocessors also moved out of the realm of
desktop computers and become more advanced.
As these small computers became more powerful, they could be linked together
to form networks, which also led to the development of the Internet. Fourth
generation computers also saw the development of the mouse and handheld
Fourth Generation Computers and
the Development of the Internet
Fifth generation computing devices, based on artificial intelligence, are still
in development, though there are some applications, such as 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
change the face of computers in years to come.
The goal of fifth-generation computing is to develop devices that respond
to natural language input and are capable of learning and self-
Fifth Generation Computers
Less power consumption .
High performance, lower cost and very compact.
Computers based on artificial intelligence are available.
Portable note book computers introduced .
Memory chips up to 1 GB, hard disk drives up to 180 GB and optical disks up
to 27 GB are available (still the capacity is increasing) .
Fifth Generation Computers
Fifth Generation Computers
As a result of the various improvements to the development of the
computer we have seen the computer being used in all areas of life. It is
a very useful tool that will continue to experience new development as
time passes.
Computers are used in various areas of our life. Education,
entertainment, sports, advertising, medicine, science and engineering,
government, office and home are some of the application areas of the