Computer Evolution

Computer Evolution: Complete History and Generation

Brief History of Computer Evolution

Computer Evolution: Computers are defined as a machine that has helped in automating processes in which data acts as an input, which is then processed and display the result as output. However, this process of the computer has not to be established at one go and has seen an evolution with time. The computer has seen a long history that includes the introduction of a wide range of devices such as the use of ancient Chinese abacus, the Jacquard loom, Charles Babbage and others. All these types of devices are seen to introduce over time since the 1800s. Further, there has also been an evolution in the architecture of mechanical, analogue and digital computing system. All this together has helped in the evolution of computers that everyone uses in today’s world. The 1960s saw the development of mechanical devices which was known as Marchant calculator and played an important role in calculating. This device is still found in some of the areas of science and engineering. During the early years of development of the computers, there were various arguments seen in relation to the merits that digital and analogue computers have on society. The first half of the 1960s witnessed the use of analogue computers in many areas, however, in the late 1960s digital computers took to power because they had the economics and scalability is necessary for large scale computations. Since then digital technology and computing took over the computing world and has been operating in all areas from a hand calculator to the supercomputer. In this article, our experts from Assignment Help UK will tell you about the different versions of computers.

There are different versions of computers that has evolved over time and each had differences in its functionality, cost, size and others. The very beginning saw the introduction of the Mainframe computers that was costly and very different to handle. This computer was huge and required more staffs to handle the operation. This model was suspended and replaced by the Minicomputer that was introduced with improvement in a software system that can help support multiple tasks. This was an improved version with a reduced size and cost. This was followed by other types of a computer such as microcomputers that appeared to be the advanced version with microprocessors. the most advanced version of the computer used today is the supercomputers which are smaller in size, however, heavily powerful and can be used for many types of tasks. The development is also seen in the hardware and software device that is installed in the computer device. There have been two types of software development over time with the evolution of computers such as application software and system software. Thus, the evolution has been seen in both the computers along with its internal systems.

The evolution of computers that is seen in digital technologies is often referred to as generations of computers. There are sixth-generation computers that have evolved over time and each of them has different characteristics and has gained improvements from the previous generations. The differences lie in the ways each generation are built, the internal computing system used and the programming languages installed. Thus, each of the new generations is seen to be an advanced version of its previous ones and led to the evolution in the computing system. Now our Instant Assignment Help experts will tell you the generation.


Generations of Computers

First Generation Computers

The first evolution of the computers after the mechanical era is the first generation computer that had three main features such as the use of vacuum tubes, were expensive and use of machine language for computing. These computers were the bulkiest computers from all the generations and were also expensive. Further, such computers were seen to be slow and was able to solve only one problem at a time. Further, these computers lacked the capability of multi-tasking or handle the complex task at a time. In the time of first-generation computers, it was seen that 1937 saw the development of concept theoretical turning machine. In the same year, there were other technologies that came up such as the first digital electronic computer which was invented by John V. Atanasoff. In addition to this, the first generation computer also saw other development such as electromechanical Z machines Colossus, Electronic Numerical Integrated and Computer and others.

The Z machine was the first type of machine that includes binary and floating-point arithmetic and various types of programmability. The development of ENIAC in 1945 that was witnessed by this generation was known as the first general-purpose electronic computer. However, soon it was realized that ENIAC had many flaws in its programming and architecture and the developers initiated to develop a better version of this electronic computer. The new architecture that was developed for improvement was known as the stored program or von Neumann architecture. Since then every computer development projects started using this architecture and slowly became part of the definition used for computers. In addition to this, there are other developments seen during this generation such as the IBM 702 Electronic Data Processing Machine, UNIVAC and others.

Second Generation Computers     

The first generation of computer was soon followed by the second generation of computers that also had three main features such as transistors, punched cards for inputs and an assembly language for computing. These three characteristics were inbuilt in the second generation of computers and were known as transistor-based computers. These computers were made after the vacuum-based computers were all used up. These new version of computers are smaller and cheaper in nature compared to the first generation computers. These computers were also made energy-efficient than its previous version so that it can help in saving a large amount of energy. However, this generation of computers proved to be bad when the transistors started generating a large amount of heat. Electronic switches in this era were made up of discrete diode technology with a switching time of 0.3 microseconds. There was also innovation in the architecture of the computer in this generation such as index registers that help in controlling loops and a floating-point that helps for calculations of real numbers in this generation computers. Further, during the era when second-generation computers were introduced many programming languages were also introduced such as FORTRAN, Algol and COBOL. The second generation also saw some evidence and designs of the first two supercomputers that can be used for numeric processing applications.

Third Generation Computer

The second-generation computers were followed by third-generation computers that used integrated circuits, operating system in the user interface to computing and increased speed and efficiency. This helped in increasing the speed and efficiency of the computers. This generation saw the introduction of BASICS in 1964 that was designed by John George Kemeny and Thomas Eugene Kurtz. Computers for the first time started using a mouse with the development of mouse prototype in 1963 and mouse was used along with the computers. The development during this generation did not stop there and was followed by a video display terminal, the invention of colour graphics adapter and also enhanced graphics adapters. Further, IBM known as one of the most developed companies of that time helped in adding colour to the computer holidays. All through the third generation, it was seen that the computer monitors of these computers used CRT technology, which was replaced by LCD display in the 2000s. In addition, this, the other development seen in this generation is the introduction of computer keyboard, computer storage devices such as floppy disks, the first minicomputer known as PDP-8, development of ARPANET and others. Thus, the third generation computer slowly gathered the features that are seen in computers of today’s world. This also formed the base for the upcoming pipelining and various kinds of parallel processing.

Fourth Generation Computer

The next-generation computer that came up in 1972 till 1984 was a much-developed one that used large scale integration in the processing of the computer system. During this generation, it was seen that the entire processor of the computer was able to fit in one single chip and this helped in reducing the size of the computer to a large extent. Further, in this generation computer, it was seen that semiconductor memories replaced the core memories, however, it was limited to registers and cache. A better version of the computers started to emerge with better and large main memory such as the CRAY 2. Moreover, there were various kinds of architectures that evolved during this period and were more experimental in nature. There was the introduction of microcomputers and workstations which were an alternative to mainframe computers. Thousands of integrated circuits were seen to be on the silicon chip that made up the entire microprocessor of this generation of computer. Intel took over the computer generating industry and produced the large scale integrated circuits in 1971. Everything at that time that made up the computer was Intel along with other companies coming with their version of computers. Apple was one that company that brought the personal computer known as Macintosh in 1984. Computer by this time became an important part of the life of the people around the United States where 45 million computers were in use at that time.

Fifth Generation Computer

This is the next generation of computers that came up in 1984 to 1990 and is majorly characterized by parallel processing. Before this generation of computer came up the parallel processing was just limited to pipelining and vector processing. This generation came up with the computers that had hundreds of processors in which every processor was able to work on different parts of the single program without much issue. The most relevant and important development seen in this generation was the introduction of computer networks and the implementation of single-user workstations. Thus, it was the first time people got to know about the networks and the importance it holds in handling multiple things together. This generation was the best development phase that showed the development of computer over time from a huge and heavy machine to a portable and most efficient one. Intel came up with various other approaches such as Ipsc-1 which they nicknamed as the Hypercube that started using memory module. Intel was able to connect each of the processors to their own memory and connected the processors with the help of networks. This type architecture that was used in this generation of the computer by Intel was called the distributed memory architecture in which the memory that was used was no longer a bottleneck and needed a built up of a larger system. The only thing that did not change in this type of computers were the use of vector processing. However, various networking joint this vector processing such as wide area network and local area network and it developed at a very fast pace and led to a transition from a traditional mainframe computer system to a distributed computing environment. Along with this, there were other tremendous developments that took place that helped in the formation of the type of computers that people use today and helped in bringing gains in the computations system with relatively low-cost workstations and servers.

Sixth Generation Computer

This is the final evolution seen in the computing system and since then the computing system is upgrading at a slow pace. All types of tremendous change in the computing system were seen before this generation. The major gain in this generation computer is the parallel computing both seen in hardware and in the understanding of the algorithms. The algorithms helped to exploit diverse, massively parallel architectures in the computing system. One of the most dramatic changes that are seen in the sixth generation is the introduction of a wide area network. The bandwidth of the network was seen to expand tremendously during this generation and since then it has continued to improve every several years. Thus, these are the development that the computer saw since the time of its evolution from year after years with huge transmission happening in various areas such as size, capabilities, efficiencies and intelligence. For more detailed information, you can also go to Do My Assignment UK.