Growth of Modern Computer
Category : 3rd Class
Growth of Modern Computer
The growth of modern computer is the development of hardware and software development of ancient calculating devices. Enhanced capability of different generation of computer are based on the invention of new techniques and components. Ancient world did not imagine that a non-living matter can store data in its memory as a living being can store it. It was possible with the help of punch card. The enhanced version of storage was introduced with the help of magnetic drum. The magnetic drum storage technique is still in use as a platter of a hard drive is coated with magnetic material for storage.
Generation of Computers
The first generation of computer had introduce with the development of storage media. Machine, that was invented before the first generation was only capable of performing arithmetic operation therefore, they were known as calculating machine.
A generation refers to the state of improvement in the development of a product. This term is also used in the different advancements of computer technology. Each phase of computer development is known as a separate generation of computers.
The First Generation Computers (1949-55)
The first generation computers were huge, slow, expensive and often undependable. In 1946, two Americans, Presper Eckert and John Mauchly built the ENIAC electronic computer which used very large and heavy electronic vacuum tubes, which took up a lot of space and gave off a great deal of heat like the light bulbs.
First generation computer was a first step towards the invention of present form of computer, therefore, it had many limitations.
Some of them are the following:
v These computers were very big in size. The ENIAC machine was 30 x 50 feet in size and 30 tons in weight. Therefore, these machines required a very large space to work.
v Their power consumption was very high.
The Second Generation Computers (1956-65)
The second generation computer started with the invention of transistors.. In 1947, three scientists, John Bardeen, William Shockley and Walter Brattain working at AT&T's Bell Labs invented the transistor which functioned like a vacuum tube. The transistor was faster, more reliable, smaller and much cheaper to build than a vacuum tube. The IBM 1401 was a computer developed during the second generation computer hired on rent by Nepal for Census.
After removing the limitations of 1st generation computers, 2nd generation computers were developed. Despite of that, it had many limitations.
Some of them are as follows:
v The use of transistors instead of vacuum tubes in the second generation computer required heat absorber because, transistors produced excess heat. Therefore, air conditioning was required for cooling the machine.
v Computer required frequent maintenance because, transistors were burn frequently due to excess heat produced by them.
Third Generation Computers (1966-75)
Third generation computers were introduced in 1964. These computers used a new technology of integrated transistor circuits better known as 1C or Integrated Circuits that were made of electric wires. Instead of having one transistor working separately, several transistors would be integrated with other components and sealed in a small package called I.C (Integrated Circuit.) or the Chip. These computers had much higher speeds, larger storage capacities and lower prices. IBM 360 series of computer were based on integrated circuits.
The Fourth Generation Computers (1976-Present)
The fourth generation computers are the modern computers that we use now-a- days. These computers use very complex circuits called LSIC (Large Scale Integrated Circuits) and have a Microprocessor chip in them.
The fourth generation computers can be identified with the use of VLSI (Very Large Scale Integrated technology). A storage technology that is called RAID (Redundant Array of Inexpensive Disks) was introduced during the forth generation computer by Davide Petterson and team.
The Fifth Generation Computers
You must have seen robots on the TV or in movies and marveled at how similar they are to human beings in spite of being a machine. This technique which allows a machine to think and decide on its own, just like human beings will be the main feature of the 5th generation computers.
They will be more reliable and intelligent machines. 5th generation computers are characterized by highly complex computers where programming skills is not necessary for the user. Technology of the 5th generation computers has already come to use in a few areas of the world.
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