Nowadays computer has become an essential part of every mankind. In this era, every one wants to become expert in computer. For the interested people, it is necessary that they must know about the history of computer as well.
The history of computer development is often referred to in reference to the different generations of computing devices. A generation refers to the state of improvement in the product development process.
There are 5 generations of computer.
1. First Generation (1940-1956) Vacuum Tubes
For the circuit of computer, the vacuum tubes and magnetic drums are used for storage of memory in first generation of computer. This computer was too much long that it was existed in entire room. This was very expensive, used too much electricity and generated too much heat that was harmful and impairment.
The UNIVAC, MARK I (1944) and ENIVAC (1946) were the examples of first generation computer. The UNIVAC was the first commercial computer delivered to a business client, the U.S. Census Bureau in 1951.
2. Second Generation (1956-1963) Transistors
In second generation, Transistors are used other than Vacuum Tubes. Transistors were of low price and used less electricity so generated less heat. The transistor was superior, smaller, faster, energy-efficient and more reliable than computers of first generation. The transistor was invented in 1947 but used in 1956. Example of second generation computer was IBM 350 RAMAC, which is introduced in 1956 and was the worldâ€™s first disk drive.
Transistor has many advantages than Vacuum Tube.
Silicon junction transistors much reliable than transistor and had longer, indefinite service life. Computers of this generation were consisted of large bulk of Printed circuit boards such as IBM Standard Modular System each carrying 1 to 4 logic gates.
3. Third Generation (1964-1971) Integrated Circuits
In this generation silicon chips were used other than transistors which were called semiconductors. They radically increased the speed and efficiency of computers. Keyboard, mouse and monitor were used in third generation except transistor. These computers were cheaper, efficient and smaller than their predecessors. So, people bounded to use these computers and mass people were interested in these computers.
A revolutionary example of this generation is ACPX module used in IBM 360/91 introduced in 1964, which were accommodated over 20 per chip, the chips could be packed together onto a circuit board.
4. Fourth Generation (1971-Present) Microprocessors
In fourth generation, microprocessor was used which was consisted of thousands of integrated chips. This computer was too smaller that could be transferable easily. As these computers are smaller these can be connected to form network. In 1981, IBM introduced its first computer for the home users. In 1983, Tycom Corporation introduced the Tycom Microframe. In 1984, Apple introduced the Macintosh.
5. Fifth Generation (Present and Beyond) Artificial Intelligence
Fifth generation computer devices, based on artificial intelligence. The use of parallel processing and superconductors is helping to make artificial intelligence. Whereas previous computer generations had focused the number of logic elements in a single unit, this generation is believed at the time, would instead turn to massive numbers of Cupâ€™s for added performance. The goal of fifth generation is learning and self-organization.