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Definition A device that computes, especially, a programmable electronic machine that performs high-speed mathematical or logical operations or that assembles, stores, correlates, or otherwise processes information.
History of computers Considered a “father of the computer”, Charles Babbage (1791-1871) is credited with inventing the first mechanical computer that eventually led to more complex design.
5 generations First Generation 1940-1956: Vacuum Tubes The firs computers used vacuum tubes for circuitry and magnetic drums for memory, and were often enormous, taking up entire rooms.
5 generations Second Generation 1956-1963: Transistors Transistors replaced vacuum tubes and ushered in the second generation of computers. The transistor was invented in 1947 but did not see widespread use in computers until the late 50s.
5 generations Third Generation 1964-1971: Integrated Circuits The development of the integrated circuits was the hallmark of the third generation of computers. Transistors were miniaturized and placed on silicon chip, called semiconductors, which drastically increased the speed and efficiency of computers.
5 generations Four Generation 1971-Present: Microprocessors The microprocessors brought the fourth generation of computers, as thousands of integrated circuits were built onto a single silicon chip.
5 generations Fifth Generation computing devices, based on artificial intelligence, are still in development, though there are some applications, such as voice recognition, that are being used today.
Computer hardware Computer hardware is the collection of physical elements that constitute a computer system.
Computer software Computer software, or just software, is any set of machine-readable instruction that directs a computer’s processor to perform specific operations.
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