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Electronic Era


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Electronic Era

This is the age in which we are living in. It is the era from 1940 to present age. This era has lead to most important advancements in the computing technology. Computers have been made light weight and smaller in size. Now, computing technology is cheap as well as easily available. Further advancements are being made day by day.

ENIAC was the first Electronic computer which was used for general purposes. It had two key features:

  • It was a high speed electronic computer.
  • It has ability to be programmed for many problems.

It had ability to add or subtract 5000 times a second , which was thousand times faster than any other computer of that time. It also has ability to multiply, divide and square root any value. It took two years (from 1943 to 1945) for its construction to complete working. In 1945, John Von Neuman discovered that we can change the program of computer and make it faster without making changes in its hardware. This idea then become fundamental principle for high speed future computers. The Modern programmed electronic computers took advantage of these improvements in 1947 when there emerged true use of RAM(random access memory). RAM began to store the parts of program and data that were quickly needed, so that they can be accessed quickly.

Following are some other technological advancements which have been made:

  • Use of Transistors:

Our modern computers have a very large collection of electronic switches. These switches are used to control the routing of Bits which are data elements. Earlier electronic computers used Vacuum tubes as these switches. The vacuum tubes were heavy, greater in size, expensive as well as inconsistent as they were causing a lot of problems. These tubes were inefficient as a switch. So, there was need of a new and better technology. The invention of transistors lead to revolution in computer structure. The transistor functions as a solid state electronic switch, soon replaced the transistors. Since, transistors were small as well as efficient as they consume less power than vacuum tubes, thus, the computers built with transistors were also smaller, faster and efficient.

Transistor

  • Integrated Circuits:

Then came integrated circuits in around 1970's. Now, the computers began to use integrated circuits instead of transistors. These circuits are electronic circuits on a plate of semiconductor material and having billions of transistors on single plate. Thus, this technology further decrease the size and cost, and increase the speed and reliability of computers.

Integrated Circuit

  • Stored Program Architecture:

The most important feature of modern computers is that they can be programmed. Some instructions (program) are fed in computers and then computer process these instructions and act according to them.

Computer

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