Third Generation Computers


The computers during the period 1965 to 1971 are regarded as the Third Generation Computers. The development of Third Generation Computers resulted in the end of the usage of first and second generation computers. Though transistors used in Second Generation Computers were clearly an improvement over the vacuum tube used in First Generation Computers, Second Generated Computers still generated a great deal of heat which resulted in the damage of sensitive internal parts of the computer. This problem was later eliminated by the use of quartz rock.

In 1958, Jack Kilby who is an engineer with Texas Instruments, developed the Integrated Circuit (IC). The Integrated Circuit combined three electronic components onto a small silicon disc, which was made from quartz rock. Scientist later managed to fit more components on a single chip, called semiconductor. As a result of it, more components were able to squeeze onto the chip and thereby computers became ever smaller. Another third generation computer development included the use of an OS (operating system) that allowed computers to run multiple programs together with a central program that monitored & coordinated the memory of the computer.

Characteristics of Third Generation Computers

Characteristics of Third Generation Computers in comparison with that of previous generation computers are …

  1. Third Generation Computers were based on integrated circuit (IC) technology.
  2. Third Generation Computers were able to reduce computational time from microseconds to nanoseconds
  3. Third Generation Computers devices consumed less power and generated less heat. In some cases, air conditioning was still required.
  4. The size of  Third Generation Computers was smaller as compared to previous computers
  5. Since hardware of the Third Generation Computers rarely failed, the maintenance cost for it was quite low.
  6. Extensive use of high-level language became possible in Third Generation Computers.
  7. Manual assembling of individual components was not required for Third Generation Computers, so it reduced the large requirement of labor & cost. However, for the manufacture of IC chips, highly sophisticated technologies were required
  8. Commercial production became easier and cheaper.

Image of Third Generation Computer

third generation computer