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Generations of the Computer and Their Features

Generations of the Computer

Depending on the device used system architecture processing mode and language in the computers are categorized in the five-generation of the computer.

Along with that, the development of different types of memory devices has given a sequence of development of computers from the mainframe to the microprocessor. There is a lot of change from 1946 to 1990 this time is divided into different generations.

First generations (1946-1954)

The introduction of the  UNIVAC in 1951 marked the beginning of the first generation they began to work on the universal automatic computer UNIVAC  in 1946 the computer using vacuum tubes as a memory unit are known as first-generation computers the vacuum tube consumes a lot of power the vacuum tube was developed by lee deforest in 1908.


  • They used valves or vacuum tubes as their main electronic component
  • They were large in size slow in processing and had less storage capacity
  • They consumed lots of electricity and produced a loss of heat
  • Their computing capabilities were limited.
  • They were not so accurate and reliable
  • They used machine level language for programming
  • They were varying expensive.
  • Example ENIAC UNIVAC IBM 650 ETC

Second Generations (1955-1964)

The invention of the semiconductor transistor had made a big revolution in the field of computers the transistor replace the vacuum tube the second generation computer used transistors as a memory unit a transistor could do the work of 1000 vacuum tubes the second-generation computers are smaller in size they are more reliable and faster than the first generations computer.


  • Transistors were used instead of vacuum tube
  • Processing speed is faster than first generations computer microsecond
  • Smaller in size (51 square feet)
  • The input and output devices were faster
  • Example IBM 1400 AND 7000 SERIES CONTROL DATA 36000 ETC.

Third Generation (1965 to 1974):

By the development of a small chip consisting of the capacity of the 300 transistors called an integrated chip (IC) the computers using ICs are of the third generation they were smaller in size and had higher efficiency in speed & memory capacity very soon ICs were replaced by LSL (larger-scale integration). Which consisted of about 100 components an IC containing about 100 components is called LSL.


  • They used integrated circuit chips in place of the transistors
  • Semiconductor memory devices were used
  • The size has greatly reduced the speed of processing was high they were more accurate and reliable
  • Larger scale integration and very large scale integration were also developed
  • Minicomputers were introduced in this generation.
  • Example IBM 360 IBM 370

Fourth Generation (1975 to  1990)

An ic containing about 100 components is called LSI Larger scale integration and the one which has more than 1000 such computers designed using VLSI as a memory unit is known as fourth-generation computers the first microprocessor 8008 was developed by the American company (Intel Corporation ) in  1971 and in 1974 another more powerful microprocessor 8080 was developed the microprocessor 8080 was used in early XT computer microprocessor-based computer fall in fourth-generation computer group VLSI is also called as a microprocessor.


  • They used a microprocessor (VLSI) as their main switching element
  • They are also called microcomputers or personal computers.
  • Their size varies from desktop to laptop or palmtop
  • They have a very high speed of processing they are 100% accurate reliable diligent and versatile
  • They have a very large storage capacity

Fifth Generation (1991 to Future):

The fifth-generation computers are under development stage these computers are being made using microprocessor and will use USLI (ultra large scale integration ) chips ( BIO-CHIPS )  In the future such computers will use intelligent programming and improved human-machine interface It is estimated that these computers of the fifth generation will have and artificial intelligence (AI ) with a little thinking capacity and they will understand the natural language like English, Japenese, Hindi, etc…


  • They are the future computer that will use parallel processors or genetically engineered bio-chips as their main switching element
  • They will have artificial intelligence and will be able to understand natural language.
  • They will have extremely high efficiency and reliability.
  • They will be using ULSI technology.
  • More robotic sense and true artificial intelligent devices will be created.
  • Natural language processing will be implemented.
  • Will achieve Superconductor technology.


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