The Third Generation

The third-generation computers were characterized by:

·         Use of Integrated circuits,

·         Phenomenal increase in computation speed,

·         Substantial reduction in size and power consumption of the machines,

·         Use of magnetic tapes and drums for external storage,

·         Design-of Operating systems and new higher-level languages,

·         Commercial production of computers.

This generation was characterized by the invention of Integrated Circuits (ICs). The 1C combined electronic components onto a small chip which was made from quartz.

                      i) Integrated Circuit                                    ii) Integrated Circuit

Later, even more components were fitted onto a single chip, called a semiconductor. This reduced the size even further. The weight and power consumption of computers decreased, and the speed increased tremendously. Heavy emphasis was given to the development of software. Operating systems were designed which allowed the machine to run many different programs at once. A central program monitored and co-ordinate the computer s memory. Multiprogramming was made possible, whereby the machine could perform several jobs at the same time. Computers achieved speeds of executing millions of instructions per second. Commercial production became easier and cheaper. Higher level languages like Pascal and Report Program Generator (RPG) were introduced and applications-oriented languages like FORTRAN, COBOL, and PL/1 were developed.

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