Generations of computer

Five Generations of Computer

The history of computers can be divided into several generations, each characterized by significant technological developments and advancements.

First Generation Computers (Vacuum Based) 1942 to 1959

The first generation of computers, which spanned from the 1940s to the late 1950s, was marked by the use of vacuum tubes as the main electronic component.

These computers were large, expensive, and slow, and they were primarily used by governments and large corporations for scientific and military purposes.


  • Vacuum based technology.
  • It supported only machine language.
  • It was costly and unreliable.
  • Portability issues due to bigger size.
  • It has heat generation issues.
  • Input / output devices were slow.
  • First Generation Computers.

Second Generation of Computers (Transistor Based) 1959 to 1965

The second generation of computers, which lasted from the late 1950s to the mid-1960s, saw the development of the first transistor-based computers.

Transistors were smaller, more reliable, and more efficient than vacuum tubes, and they allowed for the creation of smaller and faster computers.


  • More reliable than 1st generation computers
  • Used assembly languages
  • Improved accuracy
  • Data calculated in microseconds
  • Costly
  • Air Condition needed
  • Maintenance required
  • Heating issues existed
  • 2nd Generation Computers

Third Generation of Computers (Integrated Circuit) 1965 to 1970

The third generation of computers, which lasted from the mid-1960s to the early 1970s, saw the development of the first integrated circuits.

These tiny chips contained multiple transistors and other electronic components, and they allowed for even smaller and faster computers.


  • Integrated circuits were used
  • Reliable and smaller in size
  • Increased commercial production
  • Costly
  • Lesser electricity and maintenance
  • A.C needed
  • High level languages
  • Used for general purpose
  • Mouse and Keywords were used as Input devices
  • 4th Generation Computers

Fourth Generation Computers (VLSI Microprocessor) 1970 – 1980

The fourth generation of computers, which lasted from the early 1970s to the early 1980s, saw the development of the first microprocessors.

These tiny chips contained all the electronic components of a computer on a single chip, and they paved the way for the development of the personal computer.


  • VLSI technology were used
  • Very Cheap, reliable and portable
  • Virtual memory
  • Distributed operating system
  • Revolution of Personal Computers
  • Compact design
  • Internet concept introduced
  • No Air condition needed
  • Development in computer networks
  • Easily available to general public
  • High level languages used DBASE, C and C++ etc.

Fifth Generation of Computers (ULSI Microprocessor) 1980-Onward

The fifth generation of computers, which began in the early 1980s and continues to this day, is marked by the development of the internet and the widespread use of personal computers. These computers are smaller, faster, and more powerful than ever before, and they have become an integral part of daily life for many people.


  • ULSI Circuits
  • Based on parallel processing
  • Based on Artificial Intelligence (IA)
  • Based on Neutral Language Processing
  • User friendly interface
  • More compact design
  • Cheaper Rates and availability to General Public
  • High Level Languages being used in 5th generation are using like Java, C++ etc.
Each generation of computers has brought significant advancements and improvements, and it is exciting to think about what the future holds for this rapidly-evolving technology. It is likely that the next generation of computers will continue to shrink in size and increase in power, leading to even more incredible and exciting developments.

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