An international conference in 1962 classified computers into 5 distinct generations – 3 of which are already passed and we are in fourth generation now. The fifth generation computers are undergoing research and a few computers of this generation are developed that meets some of the expected feature of fifth generation.
Each generation of computers is characterized by a major technological development that fundamentally changed the way computers operate, resulting in increasingly smaller, cheaper, more powerful, and more efficient and reliable devices.
There are often questions in PSC Exam like what characterizes a computer of particular generation. Following is a question from 2011 exam:
33. How was the generation of computer classified?
a. By the model of the computer
b. By the device used in memory & processor
c. By the time period
d. None of the above
In fact, each computer is classified into different generations based on what electronic component it used. It’s not the time period, nor the model.
I’d included this question in sample test for the participants of eCourse and surprisingly found that many students did the very mistake. Vacuum tubes, transistors, ICs, LSI & VLSI chips are used as switching components or memory and processing devices.