The history of computer is also referred with its generation. Key technology development that vitally changed the way computers operate, resulting in increasingly smaller, cheaper, more powerful, efficient and reliable devices distinguished the generation of the computer. This division of computer according to the development period, memory, processing speed, efficiency, storage etc. is called computer generation. There are five computer generations:
Vacuum tubes were used for first generation computers for circuitry and magnetic drums for memory. They were very huge and expensive to operate. Due to the consumption of great deal of electricity, it generated a lot of heat that often caused malfunctioning in the system. Example: ENIAC, UNIVAC, MARK-1.
The transistors invented in 1947 which was not seen as extensive use, replaced vacuum tubes. The transistor was far superior to the vacuum tube that made computers to become smaller, faster, cheaper, more energy-efficient and more reliable that the first generation computers.eg. IBM 1401, UNIVAC-II, IBM 1620.
The development of the Integrated Circuit (IC) was the major turning point of the third generation computers. Transistors were made smaller and placed on silicon clips called semiconductors that drastically increased the speed and efficiency of computers. It was called integrated Circuit. Eg: IBM 360, PDP-8, etc.
The development of microprocessor gave rise to the forth generation of computers. A microprocessor has thousands of integrated circuits builds onto a single silicon clips. The Intel 4004 chips, developed in 1971 is the first microprocessor.
The fifth generation computers are based on Artificial Intelligence (AI) and are still in development. After 90s computers that support Voice Recognition System (VRS) have been developed.
Artificial Intelligence (AI)
It is the biotechnology, which will be used in the fifth generation computer. Computer having AI will be able to understand natural language, think and make decisions.
Artificial Intelligence is a branch of computer science that refers to the use of computers in such a way that they will be able to reason, learn and understand natural language as human being. Robots are made by using this technology.
The fifth generation computers will be based on biochips and super conductor chip. They will possess Artificial Intelligence and will be able to program themselves for the uses according to the user's instruction. The Deep Blue of IBM computer is that with Artificial intelligence.
Vacuum tube was the earliest electronic device developed by using filament which was used for controlling flow of electronic current. It was developed by Lee De Forest.
Transistors are a semi-conductor device used for controlling the flow of current between two terminals emitter and collector. It was developed by William Shockely, Wlter H. Britain and Johan Burden.
Super conductor is an ultrafast electronic circuit which will be used in fifth generation computers that will increase the capability of computer up to millions of times.
Following are the difference between third and fourth generation computers:
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