VLSI made it routine to fabricate an entire CPU, main memory, or similar device with a single integrated circuit that can be mass produced at very low cost. This has resulted in new classes of machines such as personal computers, and high performance parallel processors that contains thousands of CPUs. Very Large Scale Integration-is the process of creating integrated circuits by combining thousands of transistors into a single chip Fourth Generation (1971-Present)
Fourth Generation computers are the modern day computers. The Size started to go down with the improvement in the integerated circuits. Very Large Scale(VLSI) and Ultra Large scale(ULSI) ensured that millions of components could be fit into a small chip. It reduced the size and price of the 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 locating all the components of a computer (central processing unit, memory, and input and output controls) on a minuscule chip." Due to the reduction of cost and the availability of the computers power at a small place allowed everyday user to benefit. First came the minicomputers, which offered users different applications, most famous of these the word processors and spreadsheets, which could be used by non-technical users. Video game systems like Atari 2600 generated the interest of general populace in the computers. In 1981, IBM introduced personal computers for home and office use. "The number of personal computers in use more than doubled from 2 million in 1981 to 5.5 million in 1982. Ten years later, 65 million PCs were being used." Computer size kept getting reduced during the years. It went down from Desktop to laptops to Palmtops. Machintosh introduecd Graphic User Interface in which the users didnt' have to type instructions but could use Mouse for the purpose. The continued improvement allowed the networking of computers for the sharing of data. Local Area Networks(LAN) and Wide Area Network(WAN), were potential benefits, in that they could be implemented in corporations and everybody could share data over it. Soon the internet aand World Wide Web appeared on the computer scene and formented the Hi-Tech revolution of 90's.
FOURTH GENERATION (1975 – 1985)
THE FOURTH GENERATION OF COMPUTING SPANNED FROM 1975 TO 1985. COMPUTER TECHNOLOGY HAD ADVANCED SO RAPIDLY THAT COMPUTERS COULD FIT IN SOMETHING THE SIZE OF A TYPEWRITER. THESE WERE CALLED MICROCOMPUTERS, THE FIRST ONE BEING THE ALTAIR 8800. THE ALTAIR 8800 DEBUTED IN 1975 AS A MAIL-ORDER HOBBY KIT. MANY PEOPLE ACKNOWLEDGE THE ALTAIR 8800 AS THE COMPUTER THAT SPARKED THE MODERN COMPUTER REVOLUTION, ESPECIALLY SINCE BILL GATES AND PAUL ALLEN FOUNDED MICROSOFT WITH A PROGRAMMING LANGUAGE CALLED ALTAIR BASIC– MADE SPECIFICALLY FOR THE 8800.  NOW THAT COMPUTERS COULD FIT ON DESKS THEY BECAME MUCH MORE COMMON. A SMALL COMPANY CALLED APPLE COMPUTER, INC. WAS ESTABLISHED IN 1976 AND SINGLE HANDEDLY CHANGED THE INDUSTRY FOREVER. STEVE WOZNIAK AND STEVE JOBS BEGAN TO SELL THEIR APPLE 1 COMPUTER THAT SAME YEAR, AND IT QUICKLY GAINED POPULARITY. IT CAME WITH A KEYBOARD AND ONLY REQUIRED A MONITOR TO BE PLUGGED INTO THE BACK OF THE SYSTEM, WHICH WAS A NOVEL IDEA FOR COMPUTERS AT THAT TIME. THE APPLE II WAS RELEASED THE NEXT YEAR AND WAS THE FIRST MASS PRODUCED MICROCOMPUTER TO BE COMMERCIALLY SOLD, AND ALSO USHERED IN THE ERA OF PERSONAL COMPUTING. IN 1981, MICROSOFT DISK OPERATING SYSTEM (MS-DOS) WAS RELEASED TO RUN ON THE INTEL 8086 MICROPROCESSOR.  OVER THE NEXT FEW YEARS MS-DOS BECAME THE MOST POPULAR OPERATING SYSTEM IN THE WORLD, EVENTUALLY LEADING TO MICROSOFT WINDOWS 1.0 BEING RELEASED IN 1985. IN 1984 APPLE...