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Explain briefly the salient features of the various generation of computers?

Ans:Salient Features of various generations of computer are:
 i) First generation computers used vacuum tubes or valves, which worked on the principle of
 thermionic emission. The vacuum tubes contained filaments which, on heating, emitted
 electrons. Disadvantages of the first generation computers are:
 • Extremely slow compared to the speed of the present day computers.
 • Huge in size and not portable.
 • Needed heavy air conditioning.
 • Costly
 • The system of processing was batch processing.
 ii) Second generation computers replaced vacuum tubes with transistors. The transistors led
 to the development of new electronic hardware, including the first minicomputers.
 Advantages of second generation computers over the first generation ones are:
 • Small size
 • Operation speed relatively high.
 • Portable and robust.
 • Less cost.
 iii) Third generation computers used integrated circuits (ICs). The integrated circuits are
 very small in size, required nominal power. The advantages of this generation of computers
 was that the size decreased considerably and speed was very high. They were portable and
 handy and the cost was also very low.
 iv) Fourth generation computers used more powerful leis. like Medium, large and very large
 scale ICs. The most important electronic device developed during this generation was the
 microprocessor, which led to the development of micro computers. This led to computers
 which are :
 • Very powerful in mathematical calculations and data processing abilities.
 • Very fast, operating in the range of nanoseconds
 • Capable of Multitasking
 • Cheapest among all generation of computers.
 v) Fifth generation computers are thought of to be intelligent ones (using Artificial
 Intelligence) which is lacking in today's computers. They would probably:
 • work in parallel and not serially.

• Do a greater number of tasks at a time.
 • Be faster and more powerful than the fourth generation computers and have large
 • Will do knowledge-processing in addition to data-processing jobs.

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