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Third Generation of Computer

Third Generation of Computer ( 1964 to 1971 )

The third generation computers used less power and generated less heat than the second generation computers. The cost of the computer reduced significantly, as individual components of the computer were not required to be assembled manually. The maintenance cost of the computers was also less compared to their predecessors.

Hardware Technology

The third generation computers used the Integrated Circuit (IC) chips.. In an IC chip, multiple transistors are placed on a silicon chip. Silicon is a type of semiconductor. The use of IC chip increased the speed and the efficiency of computer, manifold. The keyboard and monitor were used to interact with the third generation computer, instead of the punched card and printouts.

Integrated Circuits

Integrated Circuits

Software Technology

The keyboard and the monitor were interfaced through the operating system. Operating system allowed different applications to run at the same time. High-level languages were used extensively for programming, instead of machine language and assembly language.

Computing Characteristics

The computation time was in nanoseconds.

Physical Appearance

The size of these computers was quite small compared to the second generation computers.


Computers became accessible to mass audience. Computers were produced commercially, and were smaller and cheaper than their predecessors.


» PDP-11
» IBM 370

Third Generation Computer

Third Generation Computer

Advantages of Third Generation of Computer

» Smaller in size as compared to second generation.
» More reliable.
» Portable
» Less electricity consumption.
» Heat generation was rare.
» General purpose computer.

Disadvantages of Third Generation of Computer

» Air conditioning was required in many cases due to ICs.
» Very advance technology was required to make the ICs.

Other Generation of compter are

  » First Generation of Computer (1940 to 1956): Using Vacuum Tubes
  » Second Generation of Computer (1956 to 1963): Using Transistors
  » Fourth Generation of Computer (1971 to present): Using Microprocessors
  » Fifth Generation of Computer (Present and Next): Using Artificial Intelligence