Second Generation Computers (1959-64)

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Second Generation Computer
Second Generation Computer
Around 1959 an electronic device called Transistor replaced the bulky vacuum tubes in the first generation computer. A single transistor contained circuit produced by several hundred vacuum tubes. Thus the size of the computer got reduced considerably. Transistors therefore provided higher operating speed than vacuum tubes. They had no filament and require no heating. Manufacturing cost was also very low. It is in the second generation that the concept of Central Processing Unit (CPU), memory, programming language and input and output units were developed. The programming languages such as COBOL, FORTRAN were developed during this period. Some of the computers of the Second Generation were
IBM 1920 : Its size was small as compared to First Generation computers and mostly used for scientific purpose.
IBM 1401 : Its size was small to medium and used for business applications.
CDC 3600 : Its size was large and used for scientific purpose.
The salient features of this generation were:
1. relatively faster than the first generation computers.
2. smaller than the first generation computers
3. generated lower level of heat
4. more reliable
5. higher capacity of internal storage

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