Generation of Computers | 5 Different Generations, Pros and Cons

Generation of Computers – Introduction

In this article you are going to read about the Generation of computers, their advantages and disadvantages.

In all the 5 generations there is a huge technical transition is made to all the generations to increase the features or increase the efficiency of work.

Basically Computer is an electronic device that can process information, manage data, do arithmetic, logical calculation and etc. They can calculate billions of calculations which are very accurate in comparison with human calculations.

We already know that computers are truly amazing devices. We have also seen how computers become more and more accessible and easy to use.

What are the Different Generation of Computers?

In this topic, we are going to talk about the first 5 generation of computers and give full details about them.

According to based on the period of development and the features incorporated, the computers are classified into different Generations-

  • First Generation computer (1945-1955) – Vacuum Tubes
  • Second Generation computer (1957-1963) – Transistors
  • Third Generation computer (1964-1972) – Microprocessors
  • Fourth Generation computer ( 1972-2010) – Microprocessors
  • Fifth Generation computer (2010- Artificial Intelligence
Also Read: Characteristics of Computer

First Generations of Computers

  1. First Generation Computer
  • IBM-701
  • IBM-650


  • They do calculation very fast (In milliseconds)
  • Vacuum tubes technology makes it possible to make electronic digital computers.


  • The weight is about 30 tonnes and the size was very big.
  • Consume a lot of electrical energy
  • very costly commercial production
  • work efficiency was very low
  • Not reliable and regular maintenance is required

Second Generation Computers

The invention of transistors greatly changed computer development. The transistors replaced the large vacuum tubes in televisions, radios, and computers.

As a result, the size of all electronic machinery has been shrinking ever since-

  • IBM 1620, 
  • IBM 7094,
  • CDC 1604,
  • CDC 3600, 
  • UNIVAC 1108
  • Many more…


  • By replacing the vacuum tubes in front of transistors make them lightweight in front of first-generation and size was reduced.
  • Low cost of production and maintenance in than first-generation
  • produce low heat
  • the calculation becomes more fast and reliable


  • Only used for the main purpose
  • they required a cooling system
  • constant maintenance is required

Third Generation Computer 

Transistors were clearly an improvement over the vacuum tubes but they also produced much heat that can cause internal parts damaged and this is not good for any device.

But in 1958, Jack Kilby an engineer developed the Integrated circuit( IC ).

  • PDP-8
  • PDP-11
  • IBM 360
  • IBM 370
  • ICL 2900


  • They become fast and reliable in front of the second generation.
  • The cost of making also reduced
  • I.C integrated circuit is the main advantage of this generation because it improves the performance and small in size.
  • storage capacity was increased.


  • I.C also required air conditioning
  • The highly sophisticated technology required for the manufacturing of I.C chips
  • I.C chips are very difficult to maintain in front of the first 2 generations.

Fourth Generation Computers 

After I.C the sizes of computers reduce over time. And By the 1980s, Very-large-scale integration (VLSI) merged thousands of components onto a chip.

Ultra large-scale integration (ULSI) is developed more and increased that numbers into millions.

It also increased their powers and reliability. Microprocessors are the most important and main thing that can do these things to make computers faster and reliable.

  • IBM 4341
  • DEC 10
  • STAR 1000
  • PUP 11


  • The main advantage that Heat generation is reduced
  • again size was reduced
  • less maintenance is required
  • All high-level language can be used


  • The design and fabrication of Microprocessors are very hard and very complex
  • An air conditioner is required in some cases because I C are used in some places

Fifth Generation Computers 

From 2010 to today is called the period of the Fifth Generation, before that time everyone is believing that computers are made by hardware but in the fifth-generation, everyone realized that software is also important to make computers.

some most popular advanced technologies of the fifth generation are Artificial intelligence, nanotechnology, parallel processing, etc.

  • Desktop computer
  • laptops
  • Chromebook


  • Very fast and reliable
  • multimedia feature introduced
  • convenient size and simple user interface


  • They Steal Human jobs
  • They need very low-level languages.

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