Second generation computers


  • Transistors replaced vacuum tubes and ushered in the second generation computer. Transistor is a device composed of semiconductor material that amplifies a signal or opens or closes a circuit.

  • They usually had magnetic core, transistor, digital circuits, etc.

  • The first computers of this generation were developed for the atomic energy industry..

  • The following are its features:

  1. These computers were based on transistor technology.

  2. Though the transistor still generated a great deal of heat that subjected the computer to damage, it was a vast improvement over the vacuum tube. 

  3. Second-generation computers moved from cryptic binary machine language to symbolic, or assembly, languages, which allowed programmers to specify instructions in words.

  4. These computers still require air conditioning.

  5. Processing or operating speed was increased from microseconds to milliseconds.

summarized features:-

  1. transistors were used.

  2. Smaller in size ,better speed as compared to the first generation computers.

  3. The 2nd generation Computers were more reliable

  4. multiprogramming was possible

  5. Wider commercial use

  6. Better portability as compared to the first generation computers.

  7. Used faster peripherals like tape drives, magnetic disks, printer and magnetic core as primary memory etc.

  8. Supported machine and assembly languages

  9. Accuracy improved.

  10. batch processing system was used.

  11. Punched cards were used for input.

e.g. IBM 1620 

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