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Computer Generations and Classifications

First generation Second generation

Third generation

Fourth generation Moores law

Classification of computers

By Trupti V.G, Asst. Prof, PESIT

First generation of computers

First electronic computer- 1946 by a team Eckert and Mauchly. It was called Electronic Numerical Integrator and calculator (ENIAC) Vacuum tube switching devices and small memory. Stored programming- John Von Neumann. EDSAC(Electronic Delay Storage Automatic Calculator)- 1st computer that used stored programming concept

Table 1

Second generation of computers

Invention of transistors made of germanium semiconductor material. When compared to vacuum tubes:
They were reliable since they had no filaments to burn. Less space and power. 1/10th power of tubes. Switching from 0 to 1 was faster. Cheaper than vacuum tubes.

Magnetic cores for storage- tiny rings made of ferrite Table 1

Third generation of computers

Germanium transistors replaced by silicon transistors. Integrated circuits ICs consisting of transistors, resistors, capacitors grown on a single chip of silicon and wired interconnection between components. Main memory size reached 4MB

Fourth generation of computers

Advent of microprocessor chip Magnetic core was replaced by semiconductor memories. semiconductor memories-16MB.

Moores Law
1965: George E. Moore predicted on data available at that time, that the density of transistors in integrated circuits will double at regular intervals of around 2 years. The prediction was found to be accurate. The number of transistors per integrated circuit chip has approximately doubled every 18 months, this observation has been called Moores law.

In 1970 there were around 1000 transistors placed in an integrated chip whereas now there are nearly 1 billion transistors are placed in a chip and still the researches are going on to increase the number.

Classifications of computers
Pocket or hand held PCs:
Used as Fax, mobile phone. OS: Windows CE

Simputer: Simputer is a mobile handheld computer.

Open source OS: Linux

Laptop PCs: less power, portable Personal Computers: Desktop machines

Processor speed is 10 times more than PCs. High end computers for scientific applications. They are commonly connected to a local area network. Workstations offered higher performance than desktop computers, especially with respect to CPU and graphics, memory capacity, and multitasking capability. Operating system: UNIX

Systems that provide services. They are used for specific purposes such as high performance numerical computing, web page hosting, e-mail service, database store Usually connected to network.

Thin clients:
It is a computer or a computer program which depends heavily on some other computer (its server) to complete its task. its a terminal to access a server(s). Advantages: Cheaper than desktops software cost is lower as they do not have native OS, virus protection and application software. Disadvantage: Dependence on network, Cannot be used as independent computer

Mainframe computers:
Are computers used primarily by corporate and governmental organizations for critical applications, bulk data processing such as census, industry and consumer statistics, enterprise resource planning, and transaction processing.

Expensive Faster and larger than workstations Manufacturers of mainframes: IBM, Hitachi Operating system: extensive service such as user accounting, file security, control. They are reliable compared to PCs. Ex: z/OS

They are fastest computers used for intensive numerical calculations. are used for a wide range of computationally intensive tasks in various fields, including quantum mechanics, weather forecasting, climate research, oil and gas exploration, designing aircrafts