Computers between 1965 to1971 are called third generation computers.
Integrated Circuit (also called IC in short) was used as a preprocessor in the third generation computer.
Integrated Circuit was invented by “Jack Killby”. By using integrated circuits instead of transistors, third generation computers were smaller, efficient, and more reliable.
Integrated circuits were smaller in size, consumed less power and were less expensive than transistors (which were used in the previous generation of computers).
IC (integrated circuit) is also called LSI (Large Scale Integration). A single integrated circuit consists of a number of transistors, registers and capacitors on a single chip of silicon. It provides relative security.
The development of third generation computers is considered from the time when Integrated circuits (IC) started being used instead of transistors in computers.
The development of computers using integrated circuits had already started in the 1960s, but they were not in much use at that time.
But from 1965 to 1971, ICs were used in almost all computers. Therefore, the period of the third generation of computers is considered from 1965 to 1971.
Due to the use of integrated circuits, the size of the computer had become smaller than the second generation computers. This helped make computers more portable.
Third generation computers had better input-output devices. Keyboards and monitors were introduced in place of punch cards and printouts, which helped increase the speed of input and output operations.
Remote processing, time-sharing, and multiprogramming operating systems were used in this generation, which eventually allowed users to run multiple applications simultaneously.
High level languages like COBOL, FORTRAN-2 to 5, BASIC, PASCAL PL/1, ALGOL-68, etc. were used for software development in third generation computers, as a result of which third generation computers compared to the previous generation computers. were more reliable.
Developments in storage technology resulted in the creation of large capacity magnetic disks and tapes and large magnetic core based random access memory.
On the software front, high level languages were improved and Fortran IV and the Optimizing Fortran Compiler were developed.
Examples of Third Generation of Computer
Many computers have been developed in the third generation, some of them are the following popular computers -:
- IBM-360 series
- Honeywell-6000 series
- PDP (Personal Data Processor)
- CDC 6600
Features of Third Generation of Computer
The following are the characteristics of third generation computers:
1) Use of integrated circuits
In the third generation of computers, integrated circuits were used instead of transistors, which greatly reduced the size, cost and power consumption of computers.
2) Input / Output media
In the third generation computers, instead of punch cards and printouts, the use of keyboard and monitor started.
3) Use of magnetic disk
Magnetic disk as secondary storage and magnetic core as internal memory.
4) Use of operating system
This generation of computers used remote processing, time-sharing, and multiprogramming operating systems, which eventually enabled users to run multiple applications at the same time.
5) Evolution of easy high-level language
New high-level languages such as BASIC, COBOL, PASCAL etc. were developed so that programs written for one computer could be easily ported and executed in another computer.
The processing speed of these computers was much higher than the previous generation computers.
Third generation computers cost less than second generation computers, but were still much more expensive than today’s computers.
Computers of this generation were more reliable than computers of the second generation as they were less prone to hardware failure. Their maintenance cost was also less.
9) Rise of mini computers
The third generation minicomputer made computers affordable even for small companies.
10) Power consumption
They used to consume less electricity and also generate less heat.
Advantages of Third-Generation of Computer
The third generation computers had the following advantages:
- The data storage capacity of these computers was much better than the previous computers.
- Third generation computers could calculate data in nanoseconds.
- The maintenance cost of these computers was very low as compared to the previous generation.
- Third generation computers were used for general purpose.
- The computers of the third generation were smaller than the computers of the second generation, so the computers of the third generation were more portable than the computers of the previous generation.
- Remote processing, time-sharing and multiprogramming operating systems were used in third generation computers.
- Computers of this generation were more reliable than the computers of the previous generation.
- They were smaller in size, cheaper and consumed less power than the previous generation computers.
- The processing speed of computers of this generation was much higher than the computers of the previous generation.
- Their storage capacity was more. In these, magnetic disks were used as secondary storage.
- Produced less heat than the previous generation.
- COBOL, FORTRAN-II to IV, BASIC, PASCAL PL/1, ALGOL-68, etc. were used as high level languages.
Disadvantages of Third-Generation of Computer
The third generation computers had the following disadvantages:
- Due to the use of integrated circuits in third generation computers, it was difficult to maintain.
- The manufacture of integrated circuit chips required high technology.
- Third generation computers required air conditioning systems to keep them cool.
- Third generation computers were somewhat cheaper than the previous generation but still too expensive for individual needs.
- It was a bit difficult to operate these computers.
- Formal training was required to learn how to use these computers.
- Their speed was much less than today’s computers.
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