Study of Evolution And Classification of Computers


Evolution of Computer Technology

The computers were evolved in various time periods and the various factors or fundamental technology were responsible for the evolution of computers as per human needs. How are computers classified? The classifications of computers are based on fundamental technology like speed, memory, storage capacity, size, etc. These factors (fundamental technology) were the reason behind the evolution of computers.

Each new generation is characterized by various important factors like a smaller size, greater speed, larger memory, huge data storage capacity and more.

History about the evolution of computers: They are classified into five generations. They are named as first generation computers, second-generation computers, third generation computers, fourth generation computers, and fifth generation computers. The computers evolved in the various generation has its own significance value. They were very precious and important at that time period.

All the computers in various generations were characterized by different technology factors that helped to develop the system in the best possible manner at that time period.

Classification of Computers into various generations

First Generation Computers- In first generation computers, the computer was named as electronic numerical integrator and computer. The weight of such a computer was very large. It was around 30 tons. The size was around 15000 square feet. Also, around 18000 vacuum tubes were used as electronic switches for magnetic drums and circuitry.

The power needed to run the computer was 150 kilowatts. The capacity of the first-generation computer was about 5000 additions per second. So, the first generation of computers was basically used for calculation purposes. The IBM 650 is an example of first generation computers.

Second Generation Computers- In second-generation computers, the transistors (around 10000) were used instead of vacuum tubes. The second generation computers used to have complex control units and arithmetic logic unit. The high-level programming languages were introduced in second generation computers and were much advanced than previous generation computers. It used the magnetic core for memory purpose. The IBM 1401 is the example of second generation computers.

Third Generation Computers- In third generation computers, the transistors were replaced by the integrated circuits. The size was smaller than the second generation computers. Also, the memory and storage capacity was larger compared to previous generation computers. It used DRAM memory chip as primary memory. DRAM stands for dynamic random access memory.

Fourth Generation Computers- The large scale integration circuits were used in fourth generation computers. The size was much smaller and various elements like memory and size capacity were dynamically modified for better performances. The microprocessor was used and this type of computers is also called the modern day computers. The fourth generation computers are also the extension of third generation computers.

Fifth Generation Computers- Very large scale integration circuits were used in fifth generation computers. This type of computer is used in robotics, satellite purposes, research fields, clinical practice, in mega-factories to run big machines, etc. Also, the introduction of artificial intelligence can be seen in fifth generation computers.

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