Programming languages have been categorized into several programming language generations. Historically, this classification was utilized to indicate increasing power of programming styles.
First Generation (1940-1956):
The primary computers used vacuum tubes for circuitry and magnetic drums for memory, and were frequently enormous, taking up whole rooms. They were very costly to operate and additionally to using a great deal of electricity, produced a lot of heat, which was frequently the cause of malfunctions.
First generation computers relied onto machine language, the lowest-level programming language understood by computers, to carry out operations, and they could just solve one problem at a time. Input was depends on and paper tape and punched cards, and output was displayed at printouts.
The UNIVAC and ENIAC computers are instance of first-generation computing devices. The UNIVAC was the primary commercial computer delivered to a business client, the U.S. Census Bureau in the year of 1951.
Second Generation (1956-1963):
Transistors replaced through vacuum tubes and ushered in the second generation of computers. The transistor was invented in the year of 1947 but did not see widespread use in computers until the late year of 1950s. The transistor was far better to the vacuum tube, letting computers to become smaller, cheaper, faster, more energy-efficient and more reliable than their first-generation predecessors. Although the transistor still produced a great deal of heat that subjected the computer to damage, it was an enormous development over the vacuum tube. Computers of Second-generation still relied on punched cards for input and printouts for output.
Second-generation computers moved through cryptic binary machine language to symbolic, or assembly, languages, which permitted programmers to recognize instructions in the words. High-level programming languages were also being developed at this time, such as early versions of FORTRAN and COBOL. These were also the primary computers that stored their instructions in their memory, which moved through a magnetic drum to magnetic core technology.
The primary computers of this generation were developed for the atomic energy industry.
Third Generation (1964-1971):
The construction of the integrated circuit was the hallmark of the third generation of computers. Transistors were miniaturized and located on silicon chips, called as semiconductors, which drastically enhanced the speed and efficiency of computers.
Rather then and printouts and punched cards, users interacted along with third generation computers through and monitors and keyboards and interfaced with an operating system, which permitted the device to run several different applications at one time along with a central program that monitored the memory. Computers became accessible for the first time to a mass audience because they were smaller and cheaper than their predecessors.
Fourth Generation (1971-Present):
The microprocessor brought the fourth generation of computers, since thousands integrated circuits were built up onto a single silicon chip. What in the first generation filled whole room could now fit in the palm of the hand. The Intel 4004 chip, developed in the year of 1971, situated all the components of the computer—from the central processing unit and memory to input/output controls—on a single chip.
In the year of 1981 IBM introduced its first computer for the home user, and in the year of 1984 Apple introduced the Macintosh. Microprocessors also moved out from realm of desktop computers and into various areas of life as more and more daily products started to use microprocessors.
As these small computers became more dominant, they could be connected together to form networks, which eventually led to the growth of the Internet. Fourth generation computers also saw the growth of GUIs, the mouse and handheld devices.
Fifth Generation (Present and Beyond):
Fifth generation computing devices, depends on artificial intelligence, are still in improvement, though there are some of the applications, such like voice recognition, that are being utilized today. The use of superconductors and parallel processing is helping to make artificial intelligence a reality. Quantum computation & molecular and nanotechnology will drastically change the face of computers in years to come. The aim of fifth-generation computing is to build up devices that respond to natural language input and are able of learning and self-organization.
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