Generations of Computer- Abacus to Supercomputer


Calculations done on fingers is simple for some small one. Like addition and subtraction, so what about multiplication and division, it was not done on fingers. So that time abacus was created for calculations. It was used in Europe, China, and Russia. The exact origin of the abacus still unknown. Abacus is often constructed as a bamboo frame with beads sliding on wires. Abacus is also called counting frame. Abacus to teach arithmetic to children. Abacus is like a gift for people who is visually impartial.

Manual Calculator


The word “Computer” was used in the 18th century. It means doing calculation or computing. The Computer changed the entire world. When it was invented that time no one knows it will take a major role in our daily life. Nowadays, you go any of the offices in your locality or in your city, you definitely see the computer on the table. Whole work is done on the computer, which became easy to all. 

Now let’s see how the computer changed from the space occupied of a room to the table or our lap. The computer has seen generation and had a major changed in its physical form and also mechanical form. 

Before we go deep inside it first we start with the man who is the mechanical engineer, polymath and also the “father of the computer” Mr, Charles Babbage. He originated the concept of a programmable computer. 


1940-1956 is called the period of the first generation of computer. The first generation Computer is used of vacuum tubes for circuitry and magnetic drums for memory. It was enormous, taking up entire rooms. It named as the ENIAC ( Electronic Numerical, Integrator and Computer) was built in 1943 and used 18000 vacuum tubes. ENIAC can do 1900 additions per second. It was used with punched cards for input and output. Another important stored program machine of this generation was the UNIVAC (UNIVersal Automatic Computer). It used 5000 vacuum tubes and it was first successful commercially available machine. It was able to execute ten times as many additions per second as the ENIAC. Also during this period, the first IBM computer was shipped. It was called the IBM701.


1956-1963 is called the period of the second generation of computer. The second generation Computer is used for Transistors. The second generation machines were programmed in languages such as COBOL ( Common Business Oriented Language) and FORTRAN ( Formula Translator). It was used for a wide variety of business and scientific tasks. Magnetic disks and tape were often used for data storage.


1964-1971 is called the period of the third generation of computer. The third generation computer is used  ICs. (Integrated Circuits). Many transistors are in a single IC. ICs use high-level programming language. Transistors are placed on silicon chips which are called semiconductors. These semiconductors increased the speed and efficiency of a computer.


1972-2010 is called the period of the fourth generation of computer. The fourth generation computer used VLSI (Very Large Scale Integration). VLSI is having 5000 transistors and other circuit elements on a single chip. Fourth generation computer became more powerful reliable and affordable. It gave rise to “Personal Computer” (PC). All high-level languages C, C++ etc., were used. In this generation concept of “Internet” was introduced.


2010- till date is the fifth generation of computer. The fifth generation computer used ULSI (Ultra Large Scale Integration)  The computer using Parallel processing is the fifth generation computer. This processing is going to take place in A.I.(Artifical Intelligence). Making of Robots and having human language. The computer which can interface with human beings and it’s understandable.

Till now we I said about the computer generations, besides that scientist thought about more to do calculations about the weather forecasting, climate research, oil and gas exploration, quantum mechanics and etc., which an ordinary computer cannot do it. 

A supercomputer is measured in floating-point operations per second (FLOPS). The Cray CDC 6600 supercomputer was world’s first Supercomputer. PARAM 8000 was India’s first supercomputer made by Centre for Development of an Advanced computer (C-DAC)

By the help of Supercomputer, the scientist can exactly calculate the weather conditions, the distance between objects in space. Like distance between the Sun and the moon to the Earth. Even the age of the Earth and many objects.

Finally, how the journey of the Technology by the human being is going The Abacus to The Supercomputer. Is it stop here, I say no, there is no end for the Technology is going on process till human is on the earth.