Generation in computer terminology

Generation in computer terminology is a change in technology a computer is/was being used. Initially, the generation term was used to distinguish between varying hardware technologies. Nowadays, generation includes both hardware and software, which together make up an entire computer system.

There are five computer generations known till date. Each generation has been discussed in detail along with their time period and characteristics. In the following table, approximate dates against each generation has been mentioned, which are normally accepted.

Following are the main five generations of computers.

S.NoGeneration & Description
1First GenerationThe period of first generation: 1946-1959. Vacuum tube based.
2Second GenerationThe period of second generation: 1959-1965. Transistor based.
3Third GenerationThe period of third generation: 1965-1971. Integrated Circuit based.
4Fourth GenerationThe period of fourth generation: 1971-1980. VLSI microprocessor based.
5Fifth GenerationThe period of fifth generation: 1980-onwards. ULSI microprocessor based.

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