Advantages and Disadvantages of Second Generations of Computer


The word computer is derived from the Latin word “compute” which means calculating. Hence, the most computer can perform arithmetic and logical calculations with tremendous speed and incredible accuracy. They do not possess human characteristics like boredom, jealousy, and inefficiency like humans.

Due to the computer’s amazing processing capabilities, it has become a revolutionary device capable of easily handling office work, personal work, and business. In today’s generations, most work and tasks are performed with the help of the latest computer that has made life more peaceful and enjoyable.

The modern computer has more amazing powers compared to old computers as there are several advantages and disadvantages of second generations of computer, which we are going to learn and discuss in this article.

What are the Second Generations of Computers?

The systematic development of computers with respective software and hardware advancement can be called computer generations.

Five generations of computers are categorized according to their development cycle and processing power.

Five Generations of Computer Systems
Five Generations of Computer System

Initially, computers were enormous in size, but the rapid development made them more compact and enabled with higher processing speed and accuracy.

Older computers were mere calculating devices, but the latest computers are more advanced and can perform more complex tasks and calculations with speed and accuracy.

The computer second generation started in 1956 and ended in 1963. They used transistors in their circuitry, which were comparatively small in size than huge vacuum tubes.

The transistor was designed and developed by Walter Brattain, John Bardeen, and William Shockley on December 23, 1947. The development of the transistor revolutionized the field of computers.

These transistors were small in size, reliable, and used extensively. The speed of computers increased drastically when using transistors.

These 2nd generations of computers used high-level languages like COBOL and FORTRAN and also were capable of accessing batch programming and multi-programming operating system.

Second Generations of computers were utilized and used as a part of the industry of nuclear energy, and their examples are

  • IBM 7030/7094
  • Honeywell 400 Philco

Advantages and Disadvantages of Second Generations of Computer

Advantages and Disadvantages of Second Generations of Computer

Benefits and Advantages of Second Generations of Computer

  • They used transistors that are more advanced than huge vacuum tubes.
  • They require less energy compared to the first generation of computers.
  • They generate less heat.
  • The Second-generation computer uses magnetic tapes and magnetic drums for data and information storage.
  • They are faster and more reliable computers compared to previous computer generations.
  • They are capable of handling more complex tasks and operations.
  • They use high-level programming languages.
  • The use of operating systems can be seen in these devices.
  • They are compact in shape and size and, therefore, can be installed in small spaces.
  • Second Generation computer uses more advanced technology compared to previous computers.
  • They were manufactured for commercial use.
  • Their processing power was measured in microseconds instead of milliseconds.
  • They are less expensive.
  • COBOL and FORTRAN high-level languages were used and utilized.
  • Used punch cards for input and outputs.

Drawbacks and Disadvantages of Second Generations of Computer

  • Second Generations of computers are expensive and require maintenance.
  • They produce heat; therefore air conditioner is required.
  • They are comparatively slower than 2nd and 3rd generations’ computers.
  • They are not capable of performing multitasking with rapid speed.
  • Due to heat, the hardware device is likely to get damaged.
  • Input and output devices like punch cards were very slow to operate.
  • They are designed and developed for specific tasks and operations.
  • They used magnetic drums and magnetic tapes, which restricted the storage space.

Characteristics of Second Generations of Computer

  • The main characteristic of second-generation computers is that they use and utilize transistors compared to the first generation, which uses vacuum tubes in their circuitry.
  • They work with high-level programming languages like COBOL and FORTRAN.
  • They are more reliable, efficient, and user-friendly devices compared to 1st generation computers.
  • They generated less amount of heat and energy compared to their counterparts.
  • They use assembly language.
  • They use the printer and operating system for better functionality.
  • They are faster and smarter devices than 1st generation computers.
  • They are quite inexpensive compared to first-generation computers.
  • They have a simple design and are very compact in shape and size.
  • Magnetic tape and disk are used as secondary storage. They Use punch cards for inputs and printouts for outputs.
  • They have faster processing and execution time and can simultaneously handle multiple operations and tasks.
  • They can connect with other computers and devices.
  • The magnetic core technology is used for data and information storage.
  • They are portable
  • Assembly language was used for programming.
  • The hardware devices are less prone to failure.
  • Manual assembly of individual components into a functional unit was still required.

Examples of Second Generations of Computer

Examples of Second Generation Computer
Examples of Second Generations of Computer

Here are some examples of 2nd generations of computer

  • IBM
  • UNIVAC 1108
  • Honeywell 400
  • CDC 1604
  • CDC 3600
  • PDP1
  • PDP3
  • PDP5
  • PDP8
  • ALTAS
  • LEO
  • PDP (Programmed Data Processor).

All Generation of Computer [1st To 5th] 

#Computer GenerationsTimelineHardware
1First Generation of Computer1940-1956Vaccum Tubes
2Second Generation of Computer1956-1963Transistor
3Third Generation of Computer1964-1971Integrated Circuit (I.C.)
4Fourth Generation of Computer1971-1980Microprocessor
5Fifth Generation of Computer1980- Till NowArtificial Intelligence

Difference Between Second (2nd) Generations and Third (3rd) Generations of Computer

#2nd Computer Generations3rd Computer Generations
1Transistor were used Integrated circuits (ICs) in place of transistors.
21956-19631964-1971
3Magnetic Tapes and Magnetic Drums were used for storing data and information.rotating hard drives were used as storage medium.
4Punch cards were used as input and output devices.keyboard, monitor, printer were used as input and output devices.
5Expensive than 3 rd generations of computersCheaper compared to second computer generations.
6Assembly language was used for programming.BASIC, COBOL, Pascal, Fortran, C, C++, Perl and Ada.

Features of Second Generations of Computer

  • The main component used in second-generation computers was the transistor
  • Magnetic disks and magnetic tape were used as storage devices.
  • The language used in 2nd generation computers was assembly language.
  • They were more reliable and faster machines compared to the first-generation computer.
  • Punch cards were used as an input device.
  • They consume less amount of energy.
  • They are more compact and can be fitted or installed in small spaces.
  • They generated less heat compared to 1st generation computers.
Characteristics and Features of Second Generations of Computer System
Characteristics and Features of Second Generations of Computer System
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Frequently Asked Questions [FAQs]

When was 2nd Generations Computer Invented?

Second generation was invented in 1959-1965.

Who Invented Second Generation Computer?

Walter H. Brattain (1902-1987), John Bardeen (1908-1991), and William B invented transistors in AT and Bells Lab.

Second Generation of Computer Used?

The 2nd Computer Generation used transistor.

What is the Time Period of 2nd Generation of Computer?

1950s and 1960s.

Cost of Second Generation of Computer?

Second generation computers cost about $0.5 million.

What is the Speed of Second Generation of Computer

Second generation computers had a speed of 10mbps

Which is the Second Generation Language?

Second Generation Computer Used Assembly Language.

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