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Unit 1: Introduction and Evolution of Computer


Concept of Computer:
The word “computer” comes from Latin word “computare”, which means to calculate or compute.
Calculate means to find out the result of some operation on numeric (arithmetic) and non-numeric
(logical) values. Computer is normally considered as high speed calculating machine.
Computer is defined in oxford dictionary as:
“An automatic electronic apparatus of making calculations or controlling operations that are
expressible in numerical or logical terms.”
Some other definitions:
A computer can be defined as a multipurpose, programmable, electronic data processing device that
is capable of accepting input (data), processing it and producing a refined data (information) as
output.
A computer can be defined as a programmable digital automatic machine, which takes input (raw-
data) from the user, processes it, and gives output (information) in the desired form to the user and
stores it if necessary.
A computer is an electronic device, which can perform computational as well as logical action at
enormous speed.
IPO (Input-Process-Output) cycle
A computer, independent of its size, is an electronic device used for processing of data (numbers) and
text. It basically performs the following three functions in sequence:
 Receive raw data and instructions from input devices
 Process data according to the instruction
 Produce useful output as information

Input (raw-data) Processing Output (Information)

Fig: Block diagram of IPO cycle


Characteristics of Computer:
1. Speed:
Computer is a very high speed electronic device. The operations on the data inside the computer
are performed through different electronic circuits. Both the data and instructions are accepted
in electrical signal form. They flow along these circuits with high speed that is close to the
speed of light. Computer can perform millions and billions of operations on data within a
second. The speed of computer is usually measured in megahertz (MHz) or gigahertz (GHz).
The processing speed of a microprocessor is usually measured in Millions of Instructions per
Second (MIPS). CPU with processing speed 1 MHz means it has the capability of executing
106 instructions per second.
2. Accuracy:
The accuracy of a computer is consistently high, and every calculation is performed with the
same accuracy i.e. almost 100% accurate results. It always gives accurate output if the correct
input data and set of instruction are given. It means output is totally depended on the given
instructions and input data. If input data is incorrect then the resulting output will be incorrect
which is also known as Garbage-In-Garbage-Out (GIGO).
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3. Reliability:
Computers have low failure rate. The modern computer can perform very complicated
calculations without creating any problem. It produces consistent (reliable) results. Faulty
results occur only when end-user feeds wrong input data and faulty instructions.
4. Consistency:
People often have difficulty to repeat their instructions or work again and again. Computer can
repeat actions consistently (again and again) without losing its concentration.
5. Diligence:
Computer can perform repetitive task without getting bored and getting tired for many hours
continuously without creating any error. Unlike human beings, a computer is free from
tiredness, weakness, lack of concentration and monotony. It performs the operations with the
same accuracy and reliability.
6. Automation:
Computer is an automatic machine, capable of controlling instructions. A computer can
automatically perform operations without interfering. It automatically executes the program
instructions one by one.
7. Versatility:
Versatile means flexible. Computer can perform different kind of tasks one by one or
simultaneously. It is the most important feature of computer. It can perform operations ranging
from simple mathematical calculations to highly complex and logical manipulations.
8. Word length:
Digital computer operates on binary digits, i.e. combination of 1 (high) and 0 (low). It means
all data or information are kept in computer or in its memory in terms of 0’s and 1’s. 8 bit is
equal to one byte. The number of bits that a computer can process at a time in parallel is called
its word length. Commonly used word lengths are 8 bit, 16 bit, 32 bit and 64 bit. Longer the
word length, faster the computer is.
9. Storage Capacity:
A computer can store a huge amount of data. It has data storage area, called memory. Any data
stored or saved in the memory can be retrieved at any time and at very fast speed. Memory can
be dived into two categories: Primary memory (RAM) and secondary memory (HDD, Floppy,
CD etc.). Primary memory is the working memory of the computer, which is capable of sending
and retrieving data at very high speed. Secondary memory is long-term storage and operates
more slowly but can store large number of data permanently. The storing capacity of a
computer is measured in terms of byte (B), kilobyte (KB), megabyte (MB), gigabyte (GB),
terabyte (TB) etc.
Capability and Limitation of Computer:
Capability:
 Computer is capable of producing 100% accurate outputs for correct input data and
instructions.
 It can permanently store data and retrieve them whenever required.
 It can perform repeated task with the same speed and accuracy.
 It can perform different types of tasks.
 It can perform task automatically after required instructions and data are provided.
 It provides faster and cheaper communications.

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Limitations:
 Computer is non-intelligent (dull) machine. It cannot think and take the right decisions as
human being.
 It cannot operate without electricity.
 It requires instructions to perform a task. It cannot perform any task by itself.
 It cannot think or react as humans. It cannot distinguish between the good and bad, correct and
incorrect.
 It cannot draw conclusions without going through all intermediate steps.
 It cannot be used without input/output devices, processing units and software.
Application of Computer:
Computer is playing very important role in every field of our life. They are used in different fields like
education, entertainment, banking etc. the main fields where the computers play vital role are:
1. Education:
Computers are used in various educational institutes like school, college, university etc. They
are used in classrooms and labs to teach students. Many educators nowadays prefer to deliver
their lectures by computer-based presentations or multimedia programs. In schools, colleges
and universities, students use software packages to complete their assignments. The computer
assisted learning (CAL), computer-based training (CBT) or presentation is also called
computer aided instruction (CAI). The web-based training (WBT) is another type of CBT that
uses internet technology.
2. Entertainment:
Computer has also played a very important role in entertainment. It has become need for
humans for entertainment at their home, like playing video games, listening to music etc. We
can also view fine art images in online museums and galleries.
3. Business:
Computers are used in departmental stores, shopping malls and other retail centers to process
sale transaction. The computer prints and issues the receipt to the customer. It is also used in
inventory management, product sales etc.
4. Office automation:
In office, computer is used in preparing report, memorandum, and copy of advertisement, letter,
publicity, contract form, note and notice that is the basic works of an office. It helps user in
preparing, storing, retrieving and displaying text. It is also used in office accounting, billing,
data analysis, auditing, investment, inventory control, sales analysis etc. The term electronic
office is used when all work of the office is done using computers.
5. Communication:
Computers are used in field of communication. Two or more clients can communicate via
email, chat, online conferencing (teleconferencing, audio or video conferencing) through a
computer network or via internet. They are also used in FM or Television Broadcasting system
too.
6. Healthcare and medical field:
Computer is used in hospitals to help doctors in diagnosis, viewing patient’s history etc. It is
used in radiography for generating X-Ray, video X-Ray, ECG, MRI, CT-Scan reports.
7. Military and Defense:
Computer is widely used in military or defense. They are used to control and operate
microprocessor based modern tanks, missiles, fighter planes etc. Computers are also used to
communicate and transfer highly confidential message and information from one place to
another. While transferring such confidential message, they use advanced encryption and
decryption techniques for security.
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8. E-commerce:
E-commerce or e-trade or e-business is a financial business transaction done electronically
between buyers and sellers over computer network such as on internet. With E-commerce,
transactions can occur instantaneously and globally. The users can buy, sell and exchange
products or services through internet. There are many applications of e-commerce such as
mobile banking, e-bidding, online shopping etc.
9. E-governance
A government runs the country by making policies and provides services and information to
the citizens. Computers are used to provide governmental services and information to citizens
via computer networks. E-governance is practiced and felt if all governmental office provides
the services via computer network.
History of Computer:
Computer is a complex machine having many components interrelated with each other. Each of these
components was invented separately, and by different inventors. People are considered as the first
computer, because the word computer was first used in 1613 to describe people who were involved in
computations. Manual calculation can be slow and prone to errors. So, scientists have been involved
for hundreds of years in inventing new technology to mechanize the computation.
The earliest counting devices known to man were his own hands and fingers. Then things in nature
were used like stones, sticks, shells for counting. People were searching for new methods and
technology to make the counting more easily. As a result, the first electro mechanical real computer
was invented during 1940’s but history of computer begins around 500 BC.
The historical time periods of evolution of computer can be divided into following different eras:
1. Mechanical Era (Zeroth Generation)
2. Electro – Mechanical Era
3. Electronic Era
1. Mechanical Era (Zeroth Generation)
The calculator of this age was developed by using mechanical components like wood, metal, stone,
bone etc. It was used for simple mathematical calculations. Some of the popular calculators in this era
are:
Abacus
The Abacus is the earliest and the simplest calculating device. The Abacus is also known as Suan-pan
(‘counting board’ in Chinese language) or Soroban in Japanese. It was developed and used in China
about 500 B.C. It is very simple computing device used for simple calculations like counting, addition,
subtraction and multiplication of numbers.
An Abacus consists of a rectangular frame carrying a number of wooden rods. Mid-bar divides each
of these rods into unequal upper and lower parts. The upper part is called ‘heaven’ and lower part is
called ‘earth’. The ‘heaven’ consists of two beads, whereas the earth part consists of five beads to each
rod. The value of bead on heaven part is five and earth is one. Each abacus consists of nine or eleven
or thirteen rod.
Napier’s bones – John Napier (1550-1617 AD)
John Napier, a Scottish mathematician first published the table of logarithms in 1614 AD. It was very
useful in simplifying the multiplication of large numbers. He invented bone rods and used them to
demonstrate division by subtraction and multiplication by addition, according to principle of
logarithms. These rods were made up of strips of bones on which numbers were carved and painted,
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that device was called Napier bone. The Napier’s bone was also referred as Cardboard Multiplication
Calculator.
Slide Rule – William Oughtred (1575-1660 AD)
The English man William Oughtred invented a rectangular device slide rule in 1620 AD. It was a
calculating device, based on the principles of logarithm. A slide rule consists of two graduated scales,
one of which slips upon the other. The scales are devised in such a manner that suitable alignment of
one scale against the other makes it possible to find products and Quotient of any numbers. We can
perform simple arithmetic calculations as well as calculate square roots, logs, sine, cosine and tangent
etc.
Pascaline – Blaise Pascal (1623-1662 AD)
Blaise Pascal, a French mathematician, was a brilliant and religious thinker. He was the founder of
modern theory of probability. Pascal made a mercury barometer and measured atmospheric pressure.
He formulated Pascal’s principle: “In liquid or gas, pressure applied to one point is transmitted equally
to all parts of the fluid.” At the age of 19, Pascal invented the first numerical mechanical calculating
machine in Paris to assist his father who was a tax collector.
In this machine, numbers were entered by dialing a series of numbered wheels each wheel having
numbers from 0 to 9. A complete turning of first wheel causes the second wheel to move the next
result. For addition, the wheel was moved into forward direction and for subtraction, it was moved
into reverse direction. Multiplication and division operations were performed by repeated additions
and subtractions. It could perform addition and subtraction up to digits i.e. 99999999 which was a
great achievement at that time. Pascal programming language is named on his name.
Leibniz Calculator (Stepped Reckoner) – Wilhelm Von Leibniz (1646-1716 AD)
Baron Gottfried Wilhelm Von Leibniz, a German mathematician, was an outstanding thinker who
developed a method of computation called calculus. In 1671 AD, Leibniz modified the Pascaline
machine and invented a first calculator stepped Reckoner, which was able to perform automatic
addition, subtraction, multiplication, division and could find out square root. Leibniz’s machine used
stepped cylinder each with nine teeth of varying lengths instead of wheels. It was called Leibniz
calculator or stepped Reckoner.
Jacquard Loom – Joseph Marie Jacquard (1752-1834 AD)
Joseph Marie Jacquard was a French textile manufacturer who invented a mechanism for automated
weaving cloths for the textile industry at Lyon in 1802 AD which is also known as Jacquard Loom. It
was a programmable manufacturing machine. This machine was used to automatically control weaving
looms to facilitate the production of weaving cloth with complex patterns. This machine was controlled
by punch cards i.e. principle of present and absence of holes. It was the first machine which used
punched cards that stored information. Same punched cards can be used over and over again to get the
same pattern or product.
Difference Engine and Analytical Engine – Charles Babbage (1791-1871 AD)
Charles Babbage, professor and mathematician, invented the Difference Engine at Cambridge
University in 1822 AD. Theoretically it can solve differential equations and calculate various
mathematical functions, logarithmic table, polynomial and trigonometric functions. Difference Engine
was intended to be steam powered, fully automatic and commanded by a fixed instruction program.
The size was as big as a room. The project could not be successful due to lack of funds. He continued
working on it for ten years. Later he constructed a general purpose, fully programmable automatic
mechanical counting machine. He called it an analytical Engine in 1833 AD.

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Analytical engine is considered as most significant step in history of computer, it was a prototype for
modern computers. The machine was capable of calculating up to 20 decimal at about 60 additions per
minute. It could store information, make decisions and carry out instructions on its decision.
Four major units of Analytical engine:
i. Store:
Mechanical memory unit including sets of counter wheels, and intermediate result in
punched cards. It was similar to modern computer’s memory.
ii. Mill:
An arithmetic unit, that is capable of performing four basic arithmetic operations; addition,
subtraction, multiplication and division. It was similar to modern computer’s Arithmetic
and Logical Unit (ALU).
iii. Control Unit:
It has gear and shafts by which data and results were transferred between store and mill. It
was similar to Control Unit of present computer.
iv. Cards:
Punched cards were for inputs and outputs. They are similar to modern computer’s
Input/output devices.
Input Cards: There are basically two types of input cards:
Operation Cards: Selects one of four arithmetic operations addition (+), subtraction (-),
multiplication (X) and division (/).
Variable Cards: Selects the operands or variables to be operated.
Output Cards: Select the memory locations to be used by the mill for a particular operation.
Though Babbage could not complete his machine, he was able to show the fundamental design of
todays’ digital computers. That’s why he was considered as the “Father of Modern Computer”.
Lady Augusta Ada Byron Lovelace (1815-1852 AD)
Lady Augusta Ada Byron Lovelace was a daughter of English poet Lord Byron. She was a very great
follower and assistant of Charles Babbage. She was one of the few people who understood design of
analytical machine. Ada’s fine understanding allowed her to create instruction routines to be fed into
the computer. She used to document the Babbage’s work and writes programs for him. This plan is
now regarded as the first computer program and she was considered as the “First Computer
Programmer”. The software language developed for US Defense Department was named Ada in her
honor in 1979 AD.
Boolean algebra - George Boole (1815-1864 AD)
The self-taught Irish mathematician George Boole developed formal logic. He developed method of
reducing statements in logic to algebraic statement, using simple set of symbols. An interpretation of
Boolean algebra in terms of truth values, called the propositional calculus, forms the basis of the digital
process in modern computers.
Tabulating Machine (1860-1929 AD)
Herman Hollerith applied jacquard loom’s concept in computing and invented automatic punch card
tabulating machine in 1886 AD. He used punched cards to store data. A single card could store as
many as 80 variables.
Hollerith was a census statistician in US bureau of statistics. His first task was to find a faster way to
compute the US census. The previous census took nearly seven years to complete whereas Hollerith’s
Tabulating machine completed the task within 6 weeks. He is the founder of International Business
Machine (IBM) which is one of the largest computer manufacturer vendor/company in the world.
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John Von Neumann (1903-1957 AD)
Jon Von Neumann was mathematician who gave the idea of stored program computer architecture. In
this computer architecture both the data and program code is stored internally in the main memory of
the computer in 1945 AD. So he is called the “Father of Stored Program”. Formerly, the program
codes were integrated and written in chips permanently. So modification according to user’s need was
not possible. But after Neumann, such programs were stored inside computer storage media, so
modification was easy and flexible.

Communication
Processor Program + Data
Channel

Fig: Basic of Von Neumann Computer Architecture

2. Electro-Mechanical Era
The calculator of this age was developed by using mechanical and electronic component vacuum tubes.
Mark I Computer (1937 – 1944 AD)
In 1994, a professor of physics, Dr. Howard Aiken, designed a general purpose mechanical computer
at Harvard University and IBM. The machine was called IBM Automatic Sequence Controlled
Calculator (IBM ASCC). It was the first fully automatic calculating machine and later as Harvard Mark
I. It used binary numbers for its operation. Punched cards and card readers were used as input/output
devices.
Later Mark II was built by Aiken and his collagenous who were working on electromechanical relays
for its operation. Mark II used 19000 valves.
Features of Mark I
 It used 18000 vacuum tubes (valves) as main memory.
 It was about 50 feet long, 8 feet height and 3 feet wide i.e. huge in size.
 Punched card and card readers were used for input/output devices.
 It was very complicated machine, consumed huge amount of power and generated lot of heat
during operations.
 It was capable of doing five basic arithmetic operations: addition, subtraction, multiplications,
division and table reference.
 The results were printed at the rate of one result per five seconds.
Atanasoft Berry Computer (1939 – 1942 AD)
In 1939, Dr. John Atnasoff, a professor of Lowa state University and his assistant, Clifford Berry
designed a
n electronic machine to solve mathematical problems. It was called Atnasoff-Berry Computer or ABC.
The Boolean algebra was applied for designing the circuits of this computer. The development of
working model of ABC was completed in 1942. In this computer, 18000 valves were used and extra
45 valves were used for performing internal logic operations and capacitors were used for internal data
storage.
Electronic Computer Era:
The Computers of this age are developed by using electronic components like vacuum tubes,
transistors, IC, VLSI (Very Large Scale Integration) etc. These computers are smaller, faster and more
reliable.

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ENIAC (1943 – 1946 AD)


In 1946, John W. Mauchly and J. Presper Eckert constructed ENIAC (Electronic Numerical Integrated
And Calculator), at the Moore school of Engineering of the University of Pennsylvania, USA. Dr. John
Von Neumann was the consultant. ENIAC was the first popular general purpose all electronic digital
computers. It was very large computer weighing about 30 tons and containing about 17468 vacuum
tubes, 70000 resistors, 5000 soldered joins and it consumes 160 kilowatts. It was so huge and generated
so much heat that is needed to be water cooled. It was first and last computer, which used decimal
number system instead of binary system. It was mainly developed and used for ballistic missiles
trajectory problems in military. It did not have1 memory unit and did not use stored programming
concept. The programming had to be done manually by connecting wires. Data could be entered using
punched card reader, and results output on either on punched cards or on an electric type writer.
EDVAC (1946 – 1952 AD)
EDVAC (Electronic Discrete Variable Automatic Computer) was developed by Dr. John Von
Neumann, and member of ENIAC developer team. ENIAC was programmed by physically connecting
electrical wires which was very difficult. So Von Neumann proposed the stored programming concept
and developed EDVAC. EDVAC was used for Ballistic Research Laboratory of the US Army.
It used random access main memory consisting of cathode ray tube. It also used vacuum tubes for
some internal storage. It used binary number system rather than decimal.
EDSAC (1947 – 1949 AD)
EDSAC (Electronic Delay Storage Automatic Calculator) was invented by a group of scientists headed
by Professor Maurice Wilkes at the Cambridge University in May 1949 AD. It also used vacuum tubes
and used concept of stored programming. Though it started later than EDVAC, it was completed before
EDVAC. So it became the first stored program electronic computer.
UNIVAC (1951)
UNIVAC stands for Universal Automatic Computer. It was developed by J.P. Eckert and J Mauchly
in 1951 AD. It was the first general purpose and commercial digital computer. Before this every
computer were used for defense or census. The programs and data were fed through magnetic tape. It
was designed to handle both numeric and textual information.

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Generations of Computer:
The term generation indicates the stages of evolutions or development of computers based on the type
of technology used in the computer construction. The classification of computer generation is mainly
based on the basic device or technology used. The computer architecture, language used, mode of
operations are also considered. There have been great variations in size and cost of computer.
Computer system belonging to one particular technological class is said to belong to a particular
computer generations.
Each new generation has made the following changes in computer characteristics:
a. Increased speed
b. Increased storage capacity
c. Increased reliability
d. Reduced size of a computer
e. Reduced cost of computer
Computers can be divided into five generations depending upon the technology used. They are:
i. First Generation (1949-1956)
ii. Second Generation (1956-1965)
iii. Third Generation (1965-1973)
iv. Fourth Generation (1973-present)
v. Fifth Generation (present-future)
1. First Generation
The first generation computers operated on the principle of thermionic emission. They used thermionic
valves also known as vacuum tubes as CPU, magnetic drums for data storage and machine language
was used to program. A vacuum tube is made up of glass bulb and contains filaments inside it. The
filaments when heated generate electrons flow which eventually help in the amplification and de-
amplification of electronic signals. It used stored programming concept. The computers of this
generation were very large in size, high cost, lower speed and lower storage capacity.
Features:
 Vacuum tubes were used as main circuitry for processing
 Operating speed was in terms of milliseconds.
 Machine language was used to program
 Magnetic drums were used as primary memory and punched cards, magnetic tapes were used
as secondary storage.
 Punched cards and printing devices were used as input/output operations.
 Very large in size, very high cost, slow processing, inefficient and low accuracy.
 High power consumption and produces more heat.
 Used only for scientific and research purpose. Not for general purpose.
 Examples: ENIAC, EDVAC, EDSAC, UNIVAC, IBM-650, 702 etc.
2. Second Generation
The second generation computers used semiconductor devices like transistors. The transistors were
invented by Shockley, Brattain and Bardeen in 1947 for which the won the Nobel Prize. A Transistor
is a semiconductor device that is used to increase the power of the incoming signals by preserving the
original shape of signal. It has three connections, emitter (E), base (B) and collector (C). The base

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terminal acts as the input gate, emitter terminal acts as output gate and collector collects the amplified
signal. The transistor was far superior than vacuum tubes that made computers become smaller, faster,
cheaper, more energy-efficient and reliable than first generation computers. COBOL, FORTRAN
programming language were developed in second generation computers.
Features:
 Transistors were used as main technology. 1 transistor was equivalent to 1000 vacuum tubes.
 Operating speed was in terms of micro seconds.
 Assembly and machine independent languages such as COBOL (Common Business Oriented
Language) and FORTRAN (Formula Translation) were used. So they were easy to program.
 Magnetic core memory and drums were used as primary and secondary memory.
 Low power consumption resulting no heat generations.
 Smaller in size than first generation computer hence they could be transferred from one place
to another.
 Much faster, reliable with better speed.
 Examples: IBM 1620, HONEYWELL 400 series, LEO MARK III etc.
3. Third Generation
Integrated Chips (IC’s) technology was used in third generation computers. IC technology was also
known as microelectronics technology. ICs are the circuits that combine various electronic
components, such as transistors, resistors, capacitors in single small silicon chip. This development
made computers smaller in size, reliable and efficient. IC was first designed and fabricated by Jack S
Kilby and Robery Noyce in 1958. IC can be classified on the basis of components density as:
ICs number of components
SSI (Small Scale Integration) 1-20
MSI (Medium Scale Integration) 20-100
LSI (Large Scale Integration) 100-1000
VLSI (Very Large Scale Integration) 1000-10000
ULSI (Ultra Large Scale Integration) 10000 and above
Features:
 IC chips were used as main technology for circuitry.
 Operating speed was in terms of nanosecond.
 High level languages like FORTRAN, BASIC were used to program.
 Semiconductor memory like RAM, ROM were used as primary memory and Magnetic disks
like floppy, hard disk and magnetic tapes were used as secondary memory.
 Keyboards and Monitors were used as input and output.
 Multiprogramming and database management system were developed.
 Size, cost, power consumption, heat generation were decreased.
 Processing speed, storage capacity were increased
 Computers were used in census calculation, military, banks and industries.
 Examples: IBM 360 series, PDP-8, CDC-7600 etc.
4. Fourth Generation
Microprocessor was used in fourth generation computers. The invention of LSI technology and VLSI
technology led to the development of fourth generation computers. However these computers still used
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the IC technology for basic circuits. The LSI technology allowed thousands of transistors to be fitted
onto one small silicon chip. The invention of microprocessors led to the development of
microcomputer or the personal computer. The size, power consumption, cost were reduced. The first
microprocessor called Intel 4004 was developed by American Intel Corporation in 1971. In this
generation, the concept of computer network and CD-ROMs came into existence.
Features:
 Microprocessors were used as main component.
 Operating speed was in terms of picoseconds
 Fourth generation languages (4GL) is used to develop programs.
 RAM, ROM were used as primary memory and magnetic disks like, HDD, floppy disk, optical
memories like CD,DVD, flash memories like pendrives were used.
 Keyboards, touch pads, mouse, monitors, printers etc were used as input/output devices.
 More advanced GUI based operating systems like windows xp/7/8/10, Android, IOS were
developed.
 Email, internet, computer networking were developed.
 Size, cost, power consumption, heat generation were reduced.
 Operating speed, storage capacity, accuracy were increased.
 Field of application of computer became wide like computers are used in engineering,
education, commercial business, designing, communication etc.
 Advanced user friendly and web based software were developed.
 Example: IBM-PC, HP laptops, APPLE II etc.
5. Fifth Generation
Fifth Generation computer was based on Artificial Intelligence (AI) and is still in developing process.
Researchers are planning to produce biochips that is to be used in fifth generation computer while a
truly fifth generation computer is not available. The fifth generation computers are expected to have
genuine IQ, ability to reason logically and with real knowledge of the world. The computers will be
able to converse with people, have the ability of manual skills and intelligence. Advanced
programming language like PROLOG is currently being used. Among the developed country Japan
and USA are working on projects for fifth generation computer. Some of the projects are ICOT (Japan),
DARPA (USA) and MCC (USA).
Features:
 Bio Chips will be used as major component with VVLSI (Very Very Large Scale Integration).
 Operating Speed will be in terms of LIPS (Logical Inference Per Second) for knowledge based
processing and in femtoseconds.
 The computers will have its own Artificial Intelligence.
 They will be able to process natural languages to program.
 Intelligent Knowledge Based System (IKBS) will be used.
 They will have parallel processing.

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First Second Third Fourth Fifth


Electronic
Vacuum tubes Transistors IC Microprocessor Bio-Chips
device
LIPS and more
Speed Milli second Micro second Nano second Pico second than femto
second
Primary
Magnetic core Magnetic core Semi-conductor Semi-conductor Unknown
Memory
Magnetic and
Punched Cards, Magnetic disk optical disks New
Secondary Magnetic tapes
Paper tapes, (Floppy, hard) (HDD, CD, Technology for
Memory and drums
Magnetic tape and tapes DVD, flash storage
drives)
Assembly
Computer Fully Machine language and Fully High High Level and Natural
language Level Little bit of Level 4G Language
High level
Cost Very High High High Low Unknown
Size, Electrical
consumption,
Very High High Low Very low Unknown
heat
generation
Capability Very less Less Moderate High Much Higher
UNIAC,
IBM 1401, IBM 360 series IBM PC, Apple
Example ENIAC, Unknown
CDC 1604 IBM 370 series Macintosh
EDSAC

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