Fifth Generation 

History of Computing
Father of Computer

Fifth generation of computers (1984-1990)

In this period, computer technology achieved more superiority and parallel processing, which was until limited to vector processing and pipelining, where hundreds of processors could all work on various parts of a single program. There were introduction of systems like the Sequent Balance 8000, which connected up to twenty processors to one shared memory module.

This machine was as competent as the DEC VAX-780 in the context that it had a general purpose UNIX system and each processor worked on a different user's job. On the other hand, INTEL IPSC-I or Hypercube, as it was called, connected each processor to its own memory and used a network interface to connect the processors. With the concept of distributed network coming in, memory posed no further problem and the largest IPSC-I was built with 128 processors. Towards the end of the fifth generation, another parallel processing was introduced in the devices, which were called Data parallel or SIMD. In this system, all the processors operate under the instruction of a single control unit.

In this generation semiconductor memories became the standard were pursued vigorously. Other developments were the increasing use of single user workstations and widespread use of computer networks. Both wide area network (WAN) and local area network (LAN) developed at an incredible pace and led to a distributed computing environment. RISC technology i.e. a particular technique for the internal organization of CPU and the plunging cost of RAM ushered in huge gains in computational power of comparatively cheaper servers and workstations. This generation also witnessed a sharp increase in both quantitative and qualitative aspects of scientific visualization.

Burroughs Computer
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