Second generation computer

A computer built from transistors, designed between the mid-1950s and mid-1960s.
Ferrite core memory and magnetic drums replaced cathode ray tubes and delay-line storage for main memory. Index registers and floating point arithmetic hardware became widespread. Machine-independent high level programming languages such as ALGOL, COBOL and Fortran were introduced to simplify programming.
I/O processors were introduced to supervise input-output operations independently of the CPU thus freeing the CPU from time-consuming housekeeping functions. The CPU would send the I/O processor an initial instruction to start operating and the I/O processor would then continue independently of the CPU. When completed, or in the event of an error, the I/O processor sent an interrupt to the CPU.
Batch processing became feasible with the improvement in I/O and storage technology in that a batch of jobs could be prepared in advance, stored on magnetic tape and processed on the computer in one continuous operation placing the results on another magnetic tape. It became commonplace for auxiliary, small computers to be used to process the input and output tapes off-line thus leaving the main computer free to process user programs. Computer manufacturers began to provide system software such as compilers, subroutine libraries and batch monitors.
With the advent of second generation computers it became necessary to talk about computer systems, since the number of memory units, processors, I/O devices, and other system components could vary between different installations, even though the same basic computer was used.
The instruction repertoire of the IBM 7094 (a typical second generation machine) had over 200 instructions including data transfer instructions for transferring a word of information between the CPU and memory or between two CPU registers; fixed-point and floating point arithmetic instructions; logic instructions (AND, OR etc.); instructions for modifying index registers; conditional and unconditional branching; subroutines; input-output operations for transferring data between I/O devices and main memory.


Read Also:

  • Second generation language

    assembly language See also first generation language, third generation language.

  • Second-growth

    noun 1. the plant growth that follows the destruction of virgin forest. second growth noun 1. natural regrowth of a forest after fire, cutting, or some other disturbance

  • Second-guess

    [sek-uh nd-ges] /ˈsɛk əndˈgɛs/ verb (used with object) 1. to use hindsight in criticizing or correcting. 2. to predict (something) or outguess (someone): We must try to second-guess what he’ll do next. second-guess verb (informal) 1. to criticize or evaluate with hindsight 2. to attempt to anticipate or predict (a person or thing)

  • Secondhand

    adjective 1. not directly known or experienced; obtained from others or from books: Most of our knowledge is secondhand. 2. previously used or owned: secondhand clothes. 3. dealing in previously used goods: a secondhand bookseller. adverb 4. after another user or owner: He bought it secondhand. 5. indirectly; at second hand: He heard the news […]

Disclaimer: Second generation computer definition / meaning should not be considered complete, up to date, and is not intended to be used in place of a visit, consultation, or advice of a legal, medical, or any other professional. All content on this website is for informational purposes only.