The transition from first generation to second generation of computers was not abrupt. There was all round development in technology, designs and programming languages. Diode and transistor technology formed the basis of the electronic switches and the switching time came down to around 0.3 microseconds.
Computers like TRADIC and TX-0 built in 1954 used this technology. During this span, the superior magnetic core memory was in use. Some of the significant innovations of this era are floating point units for the real number calculations and index registers for controlling loops. This saved the ordeal of writing self-modifying codes and made the access to successive elements easy.
In the field of programming languages, there were superior introductions like FORTRAN (1956), ALGOL (1958) and COBOL (1959). The second generation also witnessed the development of two supercomputers - i.e. the most powerful devices amongst the peers. These two were the Liverpool Atomic Research Computer (LARC) and IBM7030. These machines overlapped memory operations with processor operations and had primitive type of parallel processing. Some of the important commercial machines of this era were IBM 704, 709 and 7094. The later introduced I/O processing.