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Third Generation of Computers

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After the invention of computers, technology had evolved and advanced in a very significant way. This advancement of technology and the development of computers are categorized into different generations and each generation contains some changes in their features and advances in technology than the previous generation. There are five generations of computers are available:

Each of these generations is different from each other in terms of architecture, language, specification, operation, performance, etc. In this article, we will discuss the third generation of computers.

Third Generation Computer

Third generation computers are advance from first and second generation computers. The third generation computer was started in 1965 and ended around 1971. Third generation computers start using integrated circuits instead of transistors. The integrated circuit (IC) is a semiconductor material, that contains thousands of transistors miniaturized in it. With the help of IC, the computer becomes more reliable, fast, required less maintenance, small in size, generates less heat, and is less expensive. It was developed by Robert Noyce of Fairchild Semiconductor and Jack Kilby (American electrical engineer) of Texas Instruments in 1958.  So due to ICs, the third generation computers are much faster, efficient, reliable, less maintenance, and small in size as compared to first and second generation computers. Third generation computer uses less electricity but still, they are little expensive and also use the air conditioner for cooling.

The third generation computers reduce the computational time. In the previous generation, the computational time was microsecond which was decreased to the nanosecond. In this generation, punch cards were replaced by mouse and keyboard. Also, multiprogramming operating systems, time-sharing, and remote processing were introduced in this generation. The high level programming language such as BASIC, PASCAL, ALGOL-68, COBOL, FORTRAN – II was used in third generation computers.

During the third generation, the computer has a large storage capacity than the previous generations. These computers have magnetic storage. Some examples of third generation computer are IBM 370, PDP-11, IBM System/360, UNIVAC 1108, Honeywell-6000, DEC series, and ICL 2900.

Characteristics of Third Generation Computers:

  • As compared to previous generations, the third generation computers were more reliable, fast, efficient, less expensive, and smaller in size.
  • In third generation computers, high-level programming languages were used such as BASIC, PASCAL, ALGOL-68, COBOL, FORTRAN – II, PASCAL PL/1.
  • The punch cards were replaced with mouse and keyboards.
  • The integrated circuit technology replaces the use of individual transistors.
  • The computers have high storage capacity.

Advantages of Third Generation Computers:

  1. Computer required less space due to the use of integrated circuits (IC). A single integrated circuit (IC) contains transistors, resistors, condensers, condensers, etc. on a piece of the silicon semiconductor substrate.
  2. It produces less head and required less energy during operations. Due to this third generation computers have less hardware failure as compare to previous generations.
  3. In third generation computers, the punch cards were removed and the input was taken with the help of a mouse and keyboards.
  4. They have high storage capacity and give more accurate results, which helps to store and compute and calculate more precise operations.
  5. The computers were portable and offer better speed.

Disadvantages of Third Generation Computers:

  1. These computers still required air conditioning.
  2. To manufacture IC, highly sophisticated technology was required.
  3. Maintaining IC chips were difficult.

Sample Questions

Question 1: Which generation of computers uses integrated circuits?


Third generation computers uses integrated circuits.

Question 2. When will the third generation computers era was started and ended?


The third generation computer era was started in 1965 and ended around 1971. 

Question 3. How do Integrated Circuits help in third generation computers?


With the use of ICs(integrated circuits) the third generation computers become more reliable, fast, required less maintenance, small in size, generate less heat and less expensive.

Question 4. Name any four third generation computers.


IBM 370, IBM System/360, UNIVAC 1108, and Honeywell-6000

Question 5. Name the storage device introduced in third generation computers.


Magnetic storage device was introduced in third generation computers.

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Last Updated : 13 Oct, 2021
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