Role of Technology in Computer Hardware

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As technology advances, life becomes more convenient and easier. Devices that are once before too large to carry become smaller and portable, allowing people to bring them anywhere. The history of computers is one proof of how advances in technology make devices portable.

First Generation Computers –Large Computers

ENIAC, the first electronic general-purpose computer is extremely large. The machine is composed of hundreds of thousands of inductors, capacitors, and resistors, along with 1,500 relays and 18,000 vacuum tubes.

This machine is enormous and comes with a total weight of 30 tons. Other first-generation computers also come in similar sizes.

Second Generation Computers – Midsized Computers

The discovery of transistors has greatly reduced the size of general-purpose computers.  Transistors are much smaller than vacuum tubes, making way for the emergence of minicomputers, which are also known as midsized computers.

The cost of computers also dropped due to this technological breakthrough. For the first time, computers become available to the public and can be purchased for $25,000.

Third Generation Computers Up to the Present – The Emergence of Microcomputers

The introduction of integrated circuits (microchip) in the 1960s has resulted in the emergence of microcomputers.  As the years go by, the number of transistors that a single microchip contains increases, which makes way for smaller computers to come. With the emergence of microcomputers, general-purpose computers become available to the masses for the first time.

The invention of microchips leads to the invention of microprocessors. Computer engineers have found a way to incorporate all the functions of a whole CPU into a single microchip.

Due to the extremely small size of the CPU, computers become more efficient in power consumption. The smaller CPU also makes it possible for computer engineers to reduce further the size of computers.

Bottom Line

Microprocessors made way for the emergence of extremely small computers, such as laptops. In the 1980s, the first flip form portable computer was introduced to the public. As technology advances, laptops become as functional as desktop computers.

In the early 2000s, computer companies started developing tablet computers and smartphones. These computers are as small as mobile devices. Android tablets become one of the most popular gadgets that people sought for nowadays.

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