Computer Generations

Computer generations are divided in five generations as below

First Generation(1942-1955)
Second Generation(1955-1964)
Third Generation(1964- 1975)
Fourth Generation(1975-1989)
Fifth Generation(1989-present)

Generations are changed based on Electronic Component development(key point), Memory Up-gradation, and Development of Application and Operating systems.

Person to person and book to book the no of generations and years of generations vary we find this appropriate so we are writing this post based on the above consideration.

Based on these characteristics we will discuss all five generations one by one.

First Generation

In first-generation Vacuum tubes were used.

The vacuum tube is a fragile glass device, that was the highest calculating device at that time.

For memory, Electromagnetic Relays are used.

Data and instructions were inserted using punched cards

all instructions were written in the machine and assembly level language

Computers in this generation were too bulky in size and it requires large room for installation.

Computers used in this generation are


Second Generation

In the Second Generation computers were manufactured using transistors

Transistor replaced the vacuum tube. Transistors were more powerful, more reliable less expensive, smaller, and easy to use.

Magnetic core used for main memory. Magnetic tape and disk were used for secondary memory

High-level programming languages like FORTRAN, COBOL, ALGOL, and SNOBOL were used in this generation.

Punch cards were used in this generation.

Batch operating systems were used. The Batch operating system was able to process more the one job inserted using punched cards.

Computers used in this generation are

HOneywell 400, IBM 7030, CDC 1604, UNIVAC LARC

Third Generation

In third generation, Integrated Circuits(ICs) were used in computers.

In the early days, Small Scale Integrated Circuits(SSI) were used.

Later on Medium Scale Integrated Circuits(MSI) were used.

In SSI there are approx 10-20 electronic components(register, transistors, and capacitors) were used.

In MSI there 100-200 electronic components were used.

Large capacity Magnetic Core main memory used. Large capacity Magnetic disk and tape were used.

Programming languages developed in this generation are


American National Standards Institute(ANSI) standardize the FORTRAN and COBOL.

Time sharing operating systems were developed that enabled users to access and share computing resources.

Computers used in this generation are

IBM 360/370, PDP-8, PDP-11 CDC-6600

Fourth Generation

In fourth-generation ICs with Large Scale Integrated Circuits (LSI) and Very Large Scale Integrated Circuits (VLSI) were used.

In this generation microprocessors were developed.

Semiconductor memory used. Hard disk were used as built in storage device. Floppy disk were used as portable storage devices.

Local area and Wide area network have developed in this generation.

New operating systems were developed like MS DOS, MS Windows, Apple OS, UNIX.

UNIX and C programming were popular during this generation.

Computers used in this generation are


Fifth Generation

This generation is currently going on.

Here Ultra Large Scale Integration(ULSI) is used in microprocessors.

Uses of Laptops, Tablet, and Mobile phones are lead to computing on the go.

We are moving from Personal Computer(PCs) to Mobiles.

Nowadays 50.71% are using mobiles 45.53% are using PCs and 3.76% are using tablets.

Semiconductors and flash memories are used in this generation. Hard disks with large storage, External Hard disks are used.

Nowadays data are stored in clouds.

Computer Network speed is very high wire and wireless devices are used in this generation.

High-speed Internet allows across the globe communications

The development of Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning allows computers to take decisions.

Now every device are connected to the Internet using the concept Internet of Things (IoT)

Read More Applications of IoT

Various high-level languages are developed in this generation also application-specific software are developed in this generation

like Java, Matlab,R, Python, PHP, Node.js

Working with mobile devices Mobile app is developing.

New operating systems are developing in these generations. Apart from computer operating systems mobile-based operating systems are also developed.

Operating systems using in this generation are

Windows XP, Windows 7,8,10, Apple OS, Different flavours of Linux- Redhat Linux, Fedora, Ubuntu.

Mobile Based OS is

Android, IOS

In this generation, companies are focusing on mobile phones. and movable computing gadgets.

The computer used in this generation are

Lenovo Thinkcentre, HP Elitebook, HP ProBook, Apple MacBook, Dell Inspiron 5570.

Short Answer Questions

Q1. What is computer generations

Ans: A computer generation tells about computer technological advancement in a period of time

Q2. punch card used in which generation

Ans : punch card were used in First Generation

Q3. Which electronic component was used in fifth generation

Ans: In Fifth Generation Ultra Large Scale Integration (ULSI) is used in microprocessors

Q4. punch card is used in _______________operating system

Ans punch card is used in Batch operating system

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