Interesting History Behind the Evolution of Computer and Its Generations

Interesting History Behind the Evolution of Computer and Its Generations

Today we are going to discuss various generations of computers and their history, and Why are computers getting more expensive:- 
Charles Babbage, an English mechanic and polymath engineer, originated the concept of a programmable computer. Considered the "computer father," he conceptualized and invented the first mechanical computer in the early 19th century.

Generations of Computers:-

First Generation:-

The first generation of computers started in 1945. This generation is marked with the appearance of UNIVAC-1 in 1950 where vacuum tubes were used, and their memories were made on thin tubes of liquid mercury and magnetic drums. Generally, the period of the first generation is counted from 1945 to 1955. During this period, the stored program concept was introduced by Von Neumann. His ideas were basically to store the instruction program in a separate memory. The high cost of vacuum tubes discouraged the manufacturers from using a vacuum tube for memory. Instead, Electrostatic memories were used to store the data in the generation of computers.

Second Generation:-

The second-generation computer lasted from 1955 to 1965. This period is considered to be a highly revolutionary one as a new technology called the transistor was introduced in 1959. The new technology of transistor replaced the vacuum tube technology and it uses ferrite core for memory. The size of computers was considerably reduced on account of using transistors. The transistors were made from germanium semiconductor material and they were also more reliable and faster than vacuum tubes. In this period higher-level programming languages like COBOL, FORTRAN and ALGOL were developed. Greater reliability of electronic components and the higher speed of these devices also enabled the development of the operating system for these computers.

Third Generation:-

The third generation of computers started in 1965. The major development in this period was the introduction of the integrated circuit (IC). IC contains several transistors. This generation computer used small-scale integration (SSI) and medium-scale integration (MSI) technologies. In the case of SSI, it was possible to fabricate 10 to 100 transistors on a single wafer. MSI enables the fabrication of more than 100 transistors on a single wafer. Initially, the computers used the memories made by Ferrite core, but later in this generation computers started using semiconductor memories. This generation lasted from 1965 to 1975. Introduction of the operating system, database management system, use of semiconductor memories, use of magnetic tape and disk as secondary storage devices, and introduction of cache memories were the major milestones of this generation.

Fourth Generation:-

The fourth generation of computers marked the introduction of the microprocessor. It becomes possible to fabricate the whole CPU on a single chip called the Microprocessor. This happened because of the introduction of a new technology called LSI (Large Scale Integration). Later with VLSI (Very large scale integration), it becomes possible to fabricate more than fifty thousand transistors on a chip. In this generation, the chip replaced the IC. The use of microprocessors enabled the manufacturers to introduce the personal computer which was very fast and compact as compared to earlier computers. Query languages, Report writers and spreadsheets, graphics, Computer-Aided Design were the major software developments in this period. This generation of computers started in 1975 and lasted until 1994 and it revolutionized life in the advanced countries.

Fifth Generation:-

The fifth generation started with major innovations in computer architecture like parallel processing, intelligent programming, the application of artificial intelligence, and knowledge-based systems. The ULSI, ultra large scale integration has triggered a new era as it has become possible to have the fastest microprocessor with a clock speed ranging from 100 MHz to 3Ghz. Language translation, voice recognition, optical discs, and artificial intelligence capabilities characterize the fifth-generation computer, The fifth-generation computer started in 1994. This period saw the wide use and popularity of personal computers.

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