In 1964, the Integrated Circuits or ICs or chips revolutionized the electronic industry and started the third generation of computers. An IC is a small silicon chip or wafer made up of extremely purified silicon crystals. It has numerous transistors, capacitors, resistors and other elements of an electronic circuit. A small scale integration (SSI) chip used to have about 10 transistors on a single chip and a medium scale integration (MSI) chip had about 100 transistors per chip. The size of memories also increased. Various mainframe computers and minicomputers were developed during this generation. Even operating systems with multitasking and multiprogramming features (you will learn about these terms in the next chapter) were developed. Since ICs made the computers highly reliable, relatively inexpensive and faster, computers these days were found in areas of education, small businesses and offices along with industrial and business applications. IBM 360 was a very popular third generation computer.
Salient Features of Third Generation computers:
1. Used integrated circuits
2. Computers were smaller , faster and more reliable
3. Low power consumption and less emission of heat as compared to previous generations
Examples: IBM 360 series, Honeywell 6000 series