What do you mean by Computers? To explain this in simple terms, Computers are the electronic device designed to take input from the users and interpret the desired results in split seconds. Computers are now a fundamental part of our everyday life. With the rapid increase in pace and lifestyle, the evolution in computer generations is also widely noticed.
The fourth generation of computers was introduced in the era of 1972 to 2010. Prior to fourth generation, the computers were enormous in size and generated a lot of heat. But the computers introduced in the fourth generation were summed up in only a single chip. With every computer component positioned in a chip, the fourth generation computers were rapidly increasing giving rise to more and more development to the epoch of technology.
Let’s discuss some of the computers that were introduced in the fourth generation:
STAR 1000 Computers
STAR 1000 were the first supercomputers which used the integrated circuits and were designed and manufactured by a control data corporation. These computers supported vector processing which is nothing but the CPU implementing the set of instructions for operating a large number of arrays and data processing.
These computers also supported virtual memory capabilities. But the overall performance of the STAR 1000 was not producing the desired results. Specific instructions were vectorized as expected but if individual scalar instructions were performed, the STAR 1000 computer seemed clearly unfit for it.
PDP 11 Computer
PDP 11 was introduced to the world in the period of 1970 to 1990s. The Programmed Data Processor series introduced the PDP 11 computers making it one of the best-selling minicomputers. Other PDP series of computers, for example PDP-11 computers included inbuilt instruction sets and additional registers which helped in easier programming.
Unlike other computers, The PDP 11 computers have no specific input-output instructions, as the input and output instructions were mapped to the memory addresses or registers. The PDP 11 computers were also operated on Unix in the early 1970s.
Designed and manufactured in 1982 by Cray Research, the CRAY-X-MP were known as the supercomputers. CRAY-X-MP computer was contemplated as the world’s fastest computer from the year 1983 to 1985 with quad processor provision. The X-MP is an advanced and improved version of CRAY-1 computers with faster clock cycles and better operational facilities.
The Central Processing Unit in X-MP has 9.5 nanoseconds clock cycle with improved memory bandwidth and benefits of two read ports, one write port, and one dedicated port for I/O instead of one port for both the read and write instructions as in CRAY-1. However, the improved models of CRAY-X-MP were announced in the year 1984 consisting of one, two, and four-processor systems.
DEC 10 also known as Dec system 10 belongs to the family of PDP. These computers were introduced in 1966, however, suspended in 1983 due to unusual instruction sets. The operating system used in DEC 10 were ITS, TOPS10, TENEX, with 36-bit word length.
The DEC 10 is a mainframe computer family and were mainly used due to the operating system used by it – TOPS 10. The DEC10 is almost similar to its predecessor PDP 6 with slight changes in the improvement of hardware and different operating systems.
Compared to the previous three generations of computers.The fourth generation of computers are portable and inexpensive with speed and accuracy.However these computers needed a fan for cooling the system. However some hindrance was caused by the microprocessors, as they required very high technical knowledge to be manufactured.
With the progress and the features provided by the fourth generation of computers, the revolution of Personal computers started and became more affordable. The size of the computers were decreased. Anticipated emergence of microprocessor and single chip usage, all kinds of high level languages were used giving rise to the development in the networking area developing extremely powerful computers.