What is the current generation of computers?
I asked all of a sudden after a brief pause “What is the current generation of computers?” Most of my intelligent students fired the answer even without second thought – FOURTH. The voice when many students spoke, was rhythmic. But are you sure?
I understand. It is written there in your book. Its in SLC book, its in your college book and everywhere about the classification of computer generation. There are five generations – three already passed, fourth on which we are now and fifth – the future generation.
An international conference of scientists in 1962 divided the development process of computers into 5 distinct generations with respect to the main electronic components and the technology they use.
First Generation Computers used Vacuum Tubes
Second Generation Computers used Transistors, Diodes
Third Generation Computers used Integrated Circuits
Fourth Generation Computers are using Very Large Scale Integrated Circuits
Fifth Generation Computers are supposed to use Ultra-Large Scale Integrated Circuits
Is this what you were studying and still believing? No, no, its not wrong. What you studied and are believing is correct, but I’d like to add one more information.
After hearing confident answer of my students I triggered another question just with a faint smile, “Give an example of fifth generation computer”
There was a momentary silence. Muffled whispers started to spread and very few bold students counter questioned “Are there any computers really developed from fifth generation?”
This is where most of the students who rely upon teacher and never do any research fail. Go check “International Conference on Fifth Generation Computer Systems”. Wondered to know that it was 1988 when this conference was held? I almost everyday ask my students to visit Wikipedia for each and every topic they study. They had not checked “Fifth Generation Computers” on Wikipedia, otherwise they would answer:
PIM/m, PIM/p, PIM/i, PIM/k, PIM/c are the computers developed as fifth generation of computers.
You too! update your knowledge and don’t get surprised if you see any of these names in your question paper as fifth generation computers.