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Generation of Computer:
Depending on the device used, system architecture, processing mode and language used in the computers are categorized in the following five generations is known as generations of computer.

First Generation (1946-1958)
The first generation computer, were developed during 1946 to 1958. They used large number of Vacuum Tubes as the electronic circuit and storage media. Vacuum tube was developed by Lee Deforest in 1908 AD. They were large in size, very slow in speed. They also had very low capacity but were very expensive. They consumed a lot of power and produced a lot of heat. They used machine level language for writing the programs.
1. They used valves or vacuum tubes as their main electronic component.
2. They were large in size, slow in processing and had less storage capacity.
3. They consumed lots of electricity and produced lots of heat.
4. Their computing capabilities were limited.
5. They were not so accurate and reliable.
6. They used machine level language for programming.
7. They were very expensive.
Model Manufactured by
ENIAC, EDVAC Moore School or Electrical Engineering
EDSAC Cambridge University
Mark-II, Mark – III, IBM 604, IBM 650, IBM 720, IBM 704, IBM 705, IBM 709, IBM CRC, IBM 102A, IBM 1023 IBM
Second Generation (1959-1964)
The second generation computer, were developed during 1959 to 1964. They used Transistors instead of Vacuum tube. The transistor was developed by John Burdeen, Walter Brattain and William Shockley in 1947. The second-generation computers used transistors as a memory unit. A transistor could do the work of 1000 vacuum tubes. Second generation computers are smaller in size. They are more reliable and faster than the first generation computers. This generation computers were used Assembly language and the high level languages such as COBOL, ALGOL, FORTRAN etc. for programming.

1. Transistors were used instead of Vacuum Tube.
2. Processing speed is faster than First Generation computers (Micro Second)
3. Smaller in Size (51 Square feet)
4. The input and output devices were faster.
Model Manufactured by
IBM 7070, IBM 7080, IBM 7090, IBM 1400, IBM 1600 Series. IBM
400 Series, 800 Series Honey Well
GE 635, GE 645, GE 200 General Electronics
CDC 1604, 160A Control Data
B5000, 200 Series Burroughts
Third Generation (1965-1974)
The third generation computer, were developed during 1965 to 1974. They used Integrated Circuit (IC) as electronic circuit. A Integrated Circuit By the development of a small chip consisting of the capacity of the 300 transistors called Integrated Chip (IC). Integrated Circuit was developed by an engineer Jack Kilby in 1958. The third generation computer were more reliable, faster, smaller, easier to operate, high capacity, less expensive than the previous generation computer. Third generation computer included the use of an operating system for automatic processing and multi programming.
1. They used Integrated Circuit (IC) chips in palace. Of the transistors.
2. Semiconductor memory devices were used.
3. The size was greatly reduced, the speed of processing was high, they were more accurate and reliable.
4. Large Scale Integration (LSI) and Very Large Scale Integration (VLSI) were also developed.
5. The mini computers were introduced in this generation.
6. They used high-level language for programming.
Model Manufactured by
System 360 Series, System 370 Series IBM
1108, 9000 Series UNIVAC
200 Serie, 60 Series Honey Well
GE 600 Series, GE 23 General Electronics
3000 Series, 6000 Series, 7000 Series Control data
5700, 6700, 7700 Series Burroughts
PDP-8 Sereis, PDP-11 Sereis Digital Equipment
Specira70 Series RCA
Fourth generation (1975 to 1990)
The fourth generation computer were developed during 1975 to 1990. The Present day computers are included in this generation. They used large scale integrated circuits (LSI) and very large scale integrated circuits (VLSI) known as microprocessor chip as electronic circuits. The first microprocessor called Intel 400 was developed by Intel corporation USA in 1971. Its size is about 0.5 cm long and less than 0.05 cm thick. In this generation the use of microprocessor made computer very faster, capable of very high memory, small in size and less expensive than previous generation computers. Data communication media also developed in this generation.
1. They used Microprocessor (VLSI) as their main switching element.
2. They are also called as microcomputers or personal computers.
3. Their size varies from desktop to laptop or palmtop.
4. They have very high speed of processing; they are 100% accurate, reliable, diligent and versatile.
5. They have very large storage capacity.
6. They can understand many high level languages, and they are user friendly.
Model Manufacture
Apple/Macintosh micro computer Apple
B7800 Burroughts
Cry X-MP Cray
Fifth Generation (1991 to incomplete)
The fifth-generation computers are under development stage. The fifth generation computer were developed after 1991 and moving towards the advanced technologies such as Artificial intelligence, very high speed, parallel processing etc.
Fifth generation computer will combine hardware and software to produce Artificial Intelligence (AI). They will be able to process non-numerical information such as pictures and graphs and will be able to understand natural languages. They will incorporate Ultra Large Scale Integration (ULSI).
1. BIO chip and ULSI will be used as main components.
2. They will be able to understand natural languages and will have thinking power called Artificial Intelligence (AI)
3. Intelligent Programs can be used in the computer.
4. They will process non-numerical information such as pictures and graphs.
5. Knowledge based problem solving techniques can be implemented.
6. They will use a superconductor as a main storage.
7. They will be using automatic programming computational logic.
8. They are not yet fully materialized.
9. High performance multiprocessor system
10. Easy Human-Computer interfaces
Full Forms :
ABC = Atanasoff Berry Computer
CMOS = Complementary Metal Oxide Semiconductor
COBOL = Common Business Oriented Language
EDSAC = Electronic delay Storage Automatic Computer
FORTRAN = Formula Translator
HLCIT = High Level Commission for Information Technology
IBM = International Business Machine
IC = Integrated Circuit
IT = Information Technology
LSI = Large Scale Integration
MIPS = Millions of Instructions Per Second
MOS = Metal Oxide Semiconductor
MSI = Medium Scale Integration
NCC = National Computer Center
PC = Personal Computer
ULSI = Ultra Large Scale Integration
ULSIC = Ultra Large Scale Integration Circuit
VLSI = Very Large Scale Integration
WWW = World Wide Web
CPU = Central Processing Unit
ALU = Arithmetic and Logic Unit
RAM = Random Access Memory
ROM = Read Only Memory
PCB = Printed Circuit Board
BIOS = Basic Input Output System
LAN = Local Area Network
RISC = Reduced Instruction Set Computer
CISC = Complex Instruction Set Computer
CU = Control Unit
PM = Primary Memory

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