Generation of Computers
ach phase of computer development is known as a separate generation of computers. Thecomputer can be classified into
generations according to their type of electronic circuits suchas vacuum tube, transistor, IC etc.
The First Generation Computers (1949-55)
The greatest single advancement in automatic computing came in 1945 when Dr. John VonNeuman introduced the idea of storing the computer’s instruction internally. This idea wasincorporated in the design of (EDVAC), Electronic Discrete Variable Automatic Computer. But theworld’s first successful computer was made in 1946 named ENIAC, Electronic NumericalIntegrator And Computer, developed by J.W. Mauchly and J.P. Eckert.ENIAC was quite fast compared with earlier devices. But it was huge. It contained 18,000 vacuumtubes. It occupied a two room car garage. It consumed a lot of electricity and had a water cooledcooling system. The first generation computers are identified by the use of vacuum tubes.Themain examples of this generation computers are ENIAC and UNIVAC-I.
(i) The computers of this generation used vacuum tubes.(ii) These computers used machine language for giving instructions.(iii) They used the concept of stored program.(iv) These computers were 5000 times faster than the MARK-I.(v) The first generation computers were welcomed by Government and Universities.
(i) These computers were very big in size. The ENIAC machine was 30 x 50 feet in size and30 tons in weight. So, these machines required very large space for their workings.(ii) Their power consumption was very high.(iii) These computers had slow operating speed and small computing capacity.(iv) These computers had a very small memory.
The Second Generation Computers (1956-65)
In 1948, Bell Laboratories developed the transistor. The transistor performed the same functionsas vacuum tube but was smaller and less expensive, generated almost no heat and required lesspower.The development of the transistor was soon applied to computers which reduced their sizesubstantially, the power required was less and had higher processing speed. IBM-700, 1401 andATLAS are some examples of the IInd Generation Computers.The second generation computers are IBM 1401, IBM 1620, IBM 7094 and UNIVAC 1108.
(i) The computers of this generation replaced vacuum tubes with transistors.(ii) Magnetic cores were invented for storage.(iii) Different magnetic storage devices were developed in this generation.
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