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Unformatted text preview: ingle chip of silicon eliminating wired interconnection between
components. The IC technology was also known as "microelectronics" technology
because it made it possible to integrate larger number of circuit components into very
small (less than 5 mm square) surface of silicon known as "chip" [see Figure 1.2(c)].
Initially, the integrated circuits contained only about ten to twenty components. This
technology was named small scale integration (SSI). Later, with the advancement in
technology for manufacturing ICs, it became possible to integrate up to about hundred
components on a single chip. This technology came to be known as medium scale
integration (MSI). The third generation was characterized by computers built using
integrated circuits. The earlier ones used SSI technology and the later ones used MSI
technology. ICs were much smaller, less expensive to produce, more rugged and reliable,
faster in operation, dissipated less heat, and consumed much less power than circuits built
by wiring electronic components manually. The net result was that third-generation
computers were more powerful, more reliable, less expensive, smaller, and cooler to
operate than the second-generation computers. Parallel advancements in storage technologies allowed the construction of larger
magnetic cores based random access memory, and larger capacity magnetic disks and
magnetic tapes. Hence the third-generation computers typically had few megabytes (less
than 5 Megabytes), of main memory and magnetic disks capable of storing few tens of
megabytes of data per disk drive.
On the software front, the third generation saw the emergence of standardization of highlevel programming languages, timesharing operating systems, unbundling of software
from hardware, and the creation of an independent software industry. During the third
generation, efforts were made to standardize some of the existing high-level
programming languages so that programs written for one computer can be easily ported
to and executed on another computer. This resulted in standardized FORTRAN and
COBOL languages known as FORTRAN IV and COBOL 68, which were...
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This document was uploaded on 04/07/2014.
- Spring '14