Generations of Computers

By Ajay Anand

First Generation Computers

1942 – 1955

First generation computers had following features:

Vacuum tubes were used
Heavy and large in size
Generated a lot of heat
Examples: EDSAC (1949). EDVAC (1951)

Second Generation Computers

1956 – 1964

Second generation computers had following features:

Transistors were used
Smaller in size, compared to first generation computers
Faster than first generation computers
Examples: IBM 1401, IBM 1700

Third Generation Computers

1965 – 1971

Third generation computers had following features:

Integrated Circuits (ICs) were used
Smaller in size than second generation computers
Less expensive
Faster and more accurate than second generation computers
Examples: IBM 360, ICL 1900

Fourth Generation Computers

1972 Onwards

Fourth generation computers have following features:

Microprocessors are used
Smaller in size
Cheaper and faster
Easy to use
Examples: IBM 4300, Pentium Duo Core

Fifth Generation Computers

In Future

Fifth generation computers are yet to come. They are likely to have following features:

Artificial Intelligence (AI)
Thinking ability
Would be used in robotics, designing, defence, etc.

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