First Generation of Computer

First Generation of Computer 1940-1956 Vacuum Tube

Vacuum tubes were used in the first generation of computer

In 1944, prof. Howard H Aiken of Harvard University developed the first electromechanical computer named Howard Mark –1, with the cooperation of IBM (International Business Machines).

It was 51 feet long and 8 feet high.

This computer accepted input from punched cards.

It used about 3000 switches to control four basic operations like

Addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division.

The first generation computer started with ENIAC (Electronic Numerical Integrator and Calculator).

It was built using vacuum tubes technology.

It was a large machine (30ft. *50ft. *10ft.) Containing about 70000

Resistors, 10000 capacitors, 6000 switches, and 18000 vacuum


FORTRAN (Formula Translation). A high-level language was developed by IBM (International Business Machines) in this generation.

Features of the first generation computer

These computers were very large In size occupying more space.

Vacuum tubes were the only electronic component used in these computers.

These computers were based on machine level and assembly level languages.

These computers were the fastest calculating machines in those days.


These computers were difficult to operate.

These computers needed a heavy air-conditioned system because of the tremendous heat generated by the vacuum tubes.

They were unreliable as the filaments of the vacuum tubes frequently burnt out.

These computers consumed huge power.





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