Compare And Contrast The Characteristics And Capabilities Of Computer From One Generation To The Next?


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Abi Ainscough Profile
Abi Ainscough answered
The evolution of the design and capabilities of computers has happened in stages, which are often referred to as generations - this is because the best parts of the computers available in one generation are passed on to the computers of the next generation, and so on. There are a number of generations in the development of computers so far - these are 1946-1958, 1959-1964, 1965-1970, and 1970 to present day.

• 1946-1958

The computers of 1946-1958 were based on the design of the American duo Presper Eckert and John Mauchly. They worked using a large number of vacuum tubes, which were able to amplify the signals and manipulate the electricity supply within the computer. However, the vacuum tubes overheated regularly, a problem which could not be combated even by using huge air conditioning systems. In addition to the overheating problem, the computers were also unreliable and incredibly expensive.

• 1959-1964

The transistor was invented by John Bardeen, William Shockley and Walter Brattan from AT&T in 1947. The transistor had the same functions as a vacuum tube in relation to computer signals and electricity, but was cheaper, smaller, faster and more reliable. Transistors were also more efficient, as one transistor did the work of up to 40 vacuum tubes. They also did not have the problem of overheating which made vacuum-tube based computers so inconvenient.

• 1965-1970

Robert Noyce and Jack Kilby can both be credited with the discovery of the power of the integrated circuit within a computer, as they both examined this around the same time, although independent from each other. The integrated circuit allowed huge numbers of transistors, millions and millions, to be placed on a single piece of silicon. This allowed computers to shrink substantially in size.

• 1970-present day

Ted Hoff invented the microprocessor, a single chip which could be used to carry out all the tasks and organization of a computer. This allowed computers to become faster, more efficient and more affordable, leading to the birth of the personal computer (PC).
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Compare And Contrast The Characteristics And Capabilities Of Computer From One Generation To The Next

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