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Unformatted text preview: chips, and the capacity of main memory and hard disk
continued in the fifth generation. The VLSI technology became ULSI (Ultra Large Scale
Integration) technology in the fifth generation resulting in the production of
microprocessor chips having ten million electronic components. In fact, the speed of
microprocessors and the size of main memory and hard disk doubled almost every
eighteen months. The result was that many of the features found in the CPUs of large
mainframe systems of the third and fourth generations became part of the microprocessor
architecture in the fifth generation. This ultimately resulted in the availability of very
powerful and compact computers becoming available at cheaper rates and the death of
traditional large mainframe systems.
Due to this fast pace of advancement in computer technology, we see more compact and
more powerful computers being introduced almost every year at more or less the same
price or even cheaper. Notable among these are portable notebook computers which give
the power of a PC to their users even while travelling, powerful desktop PCs and
workstations, powerful servers, and very powerful supercomputers (see Chapter 20 for a
detailed description of these types of computers).
Storage technology also advanced very fast making larger and larger main memory and
disk storage available in newly introduced systems. Currently, PCs having 256
Megabytes (MB) of main memory and 4 to 20 Gigabytes (GB) of hard disk capacity are
common. Similarly, workstations having 4 Gigabytes of main memory and few tens of
Gigabytes of hard disk capacity are common. Larger hard disk space (of the order of few
hundred Gigabytes) with better in-built reliability is now being supported with RAID
(Redundant Array of Inexpensive Disks) technology that allows a bunch of disks to be
configured as a single large disk. During the fifth generation, optical disks also emerged
as a popular portable mass storage media. They are more commonly known as CD-ROM
(Compact Disk - Read Only Memory) because they...
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This document was uploaded on 04/07/2014.
- Spring '14