5 Generations Of Computer Notes (VLIW, VLSI) & How Many Generations of Computer Can be Classified - Diziindia

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5 Generations Of Computer Notes (VLIW, VLSI) & How Many Generations of Computer Can be Classified

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 5 Generations of computer Notes



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The term ‘Computer Generations ’ is widely used particularly by the sales personnel of computer manufacturers. Most often it is used in relation to the hardware of the computers. There are 5 computer generations. They are the following.
First Generation - (1942-1956) - Vacuum Tube
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In the first Generation ENIAC,  EDVAC, UNIVAC I, is included. In a 1st generation, the main component is the Vacuum tube. Vacuum tube computers are referred to as 1st Generation computers.

Advantage
Disadvantage
1.       Vacuum tubes are the only available component.
2.       Vacuum tube technology made possible the advent of electronic digital computers.
3.       These computers are the fastest calculating device.


1.       These computers are too bulky in size.
2.       They were unreliable as thousands of vacuum tubes that were used emitted a large amount of heat and burnt out frequently also makes Air conditioning a necessity.
3.       These devices were prone to frequent hardware failure. So constant maintenance is also required.












Second Generation - (1956-1964) - Germanium Transistor

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In this generation, the germanium transistor is used instead of vacuum tubes. The second generation emerged with transistors being the brain of the computer. They occupied less space and used only a tenth of the power required by tubes.
Another major event during this period was the invention of magnetic cores for storage. Memory capacity in the second generation was about 100 KB. Magnetic disk storage was also developed during this period. High-level language such as FORTRAN, COBOL, Algol and SNOBOL were developed during the 2nd generation.
Advantage
Disadvantage
           Smaller in size as compared to first generation computers.
          More reliable than the 2nd generation of computers.
          Less heat is generated.
          These computers are able to reduce computational times.
          Less prone to hardware failure.
          Better Portability.
          Wider commercial use.
       1.       Air conditional is still required.
       2.        Frequent maintenance required.
       3.       Manual assembly of individual components into a functioning unit was required.
       4.       Commercial production was difficult and costly.

Third Generation  - (1965-1975) - Silicon Transistor [Integrated Circuits]
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In the Third Generation Germanium transistors being replaced by silicon transistors, resistors and capacitors grow on a single chip of silicon eliminating wired interconnection between components, emerged. A small scale integrated circuits which had about 10 transistors per chip and medium scale integrated circuits with 100 transistors per chip. There were significant improvements in the design of magnetic core memories. The size of the main memories reached about 4 MB. Magnetic disk technology improved rapidly.

Advantage
Disadvantage
1.       Smaller in size as compared with the previous generation computer.
2.       Lower heat is generated than 2nd generation.
3.       Able to reduce computational times from microseconds to Nanoseconds.
4.        Maintenance cost is low because hardware failure is rare.
5.       Easily portable.
6.       Less power is required.
7.       Commercial production was easier and cheaper.
1.       Air conditioning is required in many cases.
2.       Highly sophisticated technology required for the manufacture of IC chips.

Fourth Generation - 1st Decade (1976-1985) - Second Decade (1986-2000)
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The fourth generation is spanned into two decades:
First Decades
The fourth generation may be identified by the advent of the microprocessor chip. Medium scale integrated ( VLSI ) circuits packing about 50,000 transistors in a chip. Magnetic core memories were replaced by semiconductor memories.
Microsoft developed a very small OS called MS-DOS (Microsoft Disk Operating System) which was a successor of a system called CP/M. Networks of computers and distributed computer system were developed. Disk memories become very large (1000 MB/drive).
The most ambition language of this period was ADA.
The fourth generation saw the coming of age of UNIX OS and time shared interactive system. These systems become user-friendly and highly reliable.

Second Decade
The second phase of the fourth generation has seen a relentless increase in the speed of microprocessors and the size of main memory. The alpha microprocessor chip designed in 1994 packed 9.3 million transistors in a single chip was driven by a 300 MHz clock and could carry out a billion operations per second.
Intel designed a powerful chip called Pentium (1993). The original Pentium was followed by Pentium with MMX (Multi-Media Extension) and Pentium II with a clock speed of 466 MHz and a Celeron processor with a 300 MHz clock. In 2000 Intel introduced a 64-bit processor called IA 64 or Itanium.
The emergence of the World Wide Web which eased information retrieval. Language such as Java, C, C++, PROLOG, HASKELL, and FP emerged.
Advantage
Disadvantage
         1. Smaller in size because of high component density.
         Very reliable.
          2. The heat generated is negligible.
         3.No air condition required in many cases.
         4. Much faster in computation than previous generations.
         5. Hardware failure is required.
         6. Easily portable because of their small size.
         7. Totally general purpose.
         8. Minimal labour and cost involved an assembly state.
       9.Cheaper among all generations.
1.       High sophisticated technology required for the manufacture of LSI and VLSI chips.
  
Fifth Generation - (2000 Onwards)
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Fifth-generation is based on ultra-scale integration. It involves the principles of Artificial intelligence and robotics. The major outcome in this generation was the emergence of the variety of parallel computers using several hundred to thousand processors. This generation will involve a major deviation from the technology, architecture how computer programming used in the first four generations.






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