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Generation of computer

About computer generation

After the World War II, as the development of computer devices is getting popular, the computer generation also getting started with the development of various computing devices. At that time there was only one aim; that is to create most elevated system within a cheapest rate, which can work faster with bigger storage space and will be as small as possible. With this aim the computer generation getting started one by one.

First generation (1951-1959):

In 1951 with the development of UNIVAC-I the first generation was getting started. At this time the computer system follows those properties;

  • Vacuum tube was the main part of it.
  • To give input into the system there was a punch card assign to it.
  • For output paper and punch card was used.
  • Magnetic tape used as an external storage unit.
  • Human dependent for log into any switch.
  • Machine language and assembly language are used as programming language.


Example: UNIVAC-I, IBM 650 etc.

Second generation (1959-1965):

In 1948 the scientist of bell telephone laboratories invents transistor. At this generation the computer system follows these properties.

  • Electrical transistor was the main device at that time.
  • Punch card and magnetic tape use for data input.
  • Human help needed for managing punch cards.
  • For output paper and punch cards are used.
  • Magnetic tape was the external storage device.
  • FORTRAN, COBOL, BASIC, PL/1 etc. are the programming languages of those computers.


Example: IBM 1400, IBM 7000, Honeywell 2000, General electric 635 etc.

Third generation (1965-1971):

At this era IC (Integrated circuit) used in the system and Hardware getting much better at this generation. The computer system follows those properties;

  • IC (Integrate circuit) was the main part.
  • Keyboard used for data input.
  • Monitor used for output.
  • Magnetic tape used as external storage unit.
  • Multitasking programming environment and better OS (Operating system).
  • Not dependent on human. In this generation the term “Computer family” getting started.
  • RPG (Report Program Generator), PASCAL, FORTRAN (Advanced) and COBOL used as programming languages.


Example: IBM 360.

Fourth generation (1971-till today):

LSIC (large Scale Integrated circuit) and VLSIC (Very large Scale Integrated circuit) brings an important change into the hardware and software systems of fourth generation computer. Here a small LSIC chip can perform the task of many transistors. The properties of fourth generation computer are;

  • LSIC AND VLSIC are the main units of the computer System.
  • Advanced devices are used to transfer data.
  • Advanced magnetic disk (Storage space is much higher) used as external storage unit.
  • Virtual storage space getting started in this era.
  • Advanced software system build to mark with huge data.

Fifth generation:

This generation not yet started. Scientists are thinking of making an integrated environment with computer system and Artificial Intelligence.