Major Innovations of Four Generations of Computers

Q24. Explain briefly the major innovations of

(i) first generation computers,

(ii) second generation computers,

(iii) third generation computers,

(iv) fourth generation computers?

Ans(i). First Generation Computers (1949-55)

The first generation computers used thermionic values (vacuum tubes) and machine language was used for giving instructions. The first generation computers used the concept of ‘stored program’.


Ans(ii). Second Generation Computers (1956-65)

A big revolution in electronics took place with the invention of transistors by Bardeen, Brattain and Shockley in 1946. Another major event during this period was the invention of magnetic core and development of magnetic disk for storage.


Ans(iii). Third Generation Computers (1966-75)

The third generation’s computers replaced transistors with ‘Integrated Circuits’ known popularly as chips.


Ans(iv).Fourth Generation Computers (1976-present)

The advent of the microprocessor chip marked the beginning of the fourth generation computers. Medium scale integrated (MSI) circuits yielded to Large and Very Large Scale Integrated (VLSI) circuits packing about 50000 transistors in a chip. Semiconductor memories replaced magnetic core memories.

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