Fourth generation of computers


In the fourth generation of computers there was a radical change that marked a before and after in the technological revolution, all due to the appearance of microprocessors that meant a great advance in microelectronics . These are fast, high-density integrated circuits. Inexpensive and small in size, microcomputers are reaching the industrial market. With this, personal computers appear, becoming essential in our society, welcoming the “information revolution”.

  • Date:  1971 to 1981
  • Inventors:  Steve Jobs, Bill Gates
  • Devices:  Apple I and II, Macintosh, IBM PC, ALTAIR 8800

What is the fourth generation of computers?

The fourth generation of computers (1971 to 1981) was produced with the microprocessor of electronic circuits . The small size of the microprocessor chip was central to the creation of personal computers (PCs) . Today, LSI (Large Scale Integration) and VLSI (Very Large Scale Integration) technologies allow thousands of electronic components to be stored on one chip. Using VLSI technology, a small computer has nothing to envy a first-generation computer that took up an entire room. Microcomputers are definitely here to stay.

  • Characteristics of the fourth generation of computers
  • Story
  • Size of fourth generation computers
  • Inventions of the fourth generation of computers
  • Inventors of the fourth generation of computers
  • Featured Computers

Characteristics of the fourth generation of computers

The most important feature of the fourth generation computers is undoubtedly their size , which was due to the use of microprocessor / VLSI technology. Thanks to this, they had other advantageous characteristics:

  • Much less expensive
  • More portable
  • Much smaller size
  • Available for any type of person.
  • Basic Computer Language
  • Computer Mouse and GUI make computers more enjoyable
  • More powerful and reliable than previous generations.
  • Fast processing power with less power consumption
  • Air conditioning is not required.
  • Commercial production


The fourth generation of computers comprises from 1971 to 1981 . It was born with the development of the Microprocessor that opens the doors to personal, commercial and domestic computers . Diversity of games and programs of all kinds appear. The appearance of software undoubtedly marks an icon in the computer revolution , which is why it is also known at this time as the generation of software .

Size of fourth generation computers

Fourth generation computers are modern computers . The size began to decrease with the improvement in integrated circuits . Very Large Scale (VLSI) and Ultra Large Scale (ULSI) ensured that millions of components could be integrated into one small chip. It reduced the size and price of computers at the same time , increasing power, efficiency, and reliability. The Intel 4004 chip, developed in 1971, took the integrated circuit one step further by placing all the components of a computer – central processing unit, memory, and input and output controls – on a tiny chip.

Inventions of the fourth generation of computers

The idea of ​​computer technology had a great change with the invention of microprocessors and VLSI (Large Scale Integration) technology. They were the introduction to today’s computers, being basically an entire Central Processing Unit (CPU) of a computer on an integrated circuit. They are actually extremely complex and intricate integrated circuits. The first microprocessor was first introduced in 1971 by Intel, invented by its employee Ted Hoff. They called it Intel 4004 ; the first computer on a chip. These chips allowed computers to fit into a desktop computer.

Inventors of the fourth generation of computers

Steven Paul Jobs: (Steve Jobs) He was born in San Francisco, California, on February 24, 1955, the son of two students from the University of Wisconsin, who gave him up for adoption. Jobs was a very intelligent child, but not determined. He joined with Steve Wozniak to found Apple in 1976 , of which he was president. During his life he experimented with various paths, even dropping out of his studies at the University. He was an inventor, designer, and businessman. A figure in the computer revolution , he bequeathed impressive products from his Apple brand, such as the iPod, iPhone and iPad , icons of modern technology. In 1985, he tried another path and launched Pixar Animation Studios., and years later he returned to Apple. Jobs suffered from cancer that led to his death in 2011.

William Henry Gates III: (Bill Gates) He was born on February 28, 1955. The son of a prominent lawyer and a university professor, he grew up with his sister in Seattle. He was a student of a public school in elementary school, and then he studied at the prominent Lakeside private school, which by 1968 already had a computer. His contact with the machine allowed Gates to become passionate about computing. At Lakeside in 1975, he met Paul Allen and together they formed Micro-Soft , an acronym for “micro-computer” and “software.”. The company had its setbacks in its early days, but by 1979 Microsoft was already paying a significant amount of money. At just 23 years old, Gates was the head of his company, running it with great business sense and acumen for software development. Currently, Microsoft Windows (in all its versions) is used in most personal computers in the world. .

Featured Computers

  • ALTAIR 8800 – The First Personal Computer. It was designed by Ed Roberts, the head of MITS using an Intel 8080 CPU chip (first 16-bit microprocessor) and a sleek metal casing, and produced in 1975 by Micro Instrumentation Telemetry Systems as a personal computer. Sales increased enormously by selling it in conjunction with a mouse and keyboard, becoming the initial influence of personal computing in the world. It could run the BASIC language, written by Bill Gates and Paul Allen sold as “Altair BASIC”, becoming the first product of their company, Microsoft.
  • Apple I and Apple II series: Steve Wozniak first developed the original Apple computer, Apple I, in 1976. It was Apple’s first product; a small personal computer. His friend Steve Jobs helped him sell the computer, and later helped him make the Apple II. Wozniak and Jobs were the real co-founders of Apple. They developed the Apple II, which was one of the first high-production and highly successful home microcomputers. It was the first of its Apple II series that ended in 1993. About five million were sold in total. ROM and Integer BASIC, developed by Wozniak, worked. He also developed Disco II, a floppy disk drive for storage, in 1978.
  • Macintosh: Apple also introduced the Macintosh in 1984 based on the Motorola 68000 microprocessor. Initially, it was not a commercial success, but eventually it was with the introduction to desktop publishing. Apple also produced the Apple III series in 1980, but it was unsuccessful due to an overheating problem.
  • IBM PC: The IBM Personal Computer is the original version and the progenitor of the IBM PC compatible hardware platform.

Many other Apple computer models were produced during the fourth generation of computers. Some proved successful, while others did not.

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