Second Generation of Computers

Second Generation of Computers

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Anshuman Singh
Senior Executive - Content
Updated on Apr 12, 2023 17:42 IST

Computers are categorized into different generations based on features, such as first generation computers, second generation computers, third, and so on.


Second generation of computers were introduced during the late 1950s and 1960s after technological advancement. These computers used transistors instead of vacuum tubes, as it was more affordable, small in size, reliable and durable.

You can also explore: Different Types Of Computer

In this article, we will explore these computers in great detail. But, before we begin, let’s first go through the list of topics listed under the table of contents (TOC) that we will cover. Here’s the table:

Table of Contents (TOC)

What is a Second Generation of Computers?

The second generation of computers is a term used to describe a group of computers that were developed in the late 1950s and 1960s. These computers replaced vacuum tubes with transistors. Thus, making them smaller, faster, and more efficient.

The use of transistors in place of vacuum tubes made the systems much faster, smaller, and more efficient than 1st generation of computers. This change was done as transistors were more reliable than vacuum tubes, required less maintenance, and generated less heat. Thus, allowing computers to be smaller and more portable. These features of computers made them accessible to a wider audience.

The second generation of computers also saw the introduction of magnetic core memory, which was faster and more reliable than the first generation of computer memory. 

This introduction laid the foundation for further developments in the field. The development of computers in this era allowed for faster and more reliable processing, paving the way for the third generation of computers that used integrated circuits. Overall, the second generation of computers played a crucial role in shaping the modern computer technology we use today.

Characteristics of Second Generation of Computers

Here are the characteristics

  • Computers was smaller in size.
  •  Transistors were used instead of vacuum tubes
  • Computers were cheaper in cost than the earlier computers.
  •  Computers was faster at calculating data, taking only microseconds.
  •  Assembly language was used instead of machine language for programming.
  •  Computers required less energy and produced less heat than earlier versions of computers.


Here are the advantages:

  • They offered better portability and smaller size.
  •  They provided better speed and improved accuracy.
  •  They were faster and widely used commercially, improving accuracy and offering better portability.
  • Computers were smaller, more reliable, and capable of using less power than the previous computers.


Here are the disadvantages:

  • They were not very versatile and cheaper.
  •  They still required a cooling system even though they generated less heat.
  •  They were only used for specific objectives and required frequent maintenance.
  •  Even though they generated less heat, they still required air conditioning in the computer room.
  •  Computers used punch cards for input and required frequent maintenance.
  •  Commercial production of these computers was difficult and had a manual function component.


In this article, we have also explored the characteristics, advantages, and disadvantages of 2nd generation of computers in great detail. If you have any queries related to the topic, please feel free to send your queries to us in the form of a comment. We will be happy to help.

Happy Learning!!


When was the second generation of computers?

The second generation of computers occurred from 1950 till the 1960s.

What are the features of second generation of computers?

The second generation of computers focused more on power and size. Throughout the second generation of computers, the focus was on low power consumption, less heat generation and small-sized computers.

About the Author
Anshuman Singh
Senior Executive - Content

Anshuman Singh is an accomplished content writer with over three years of experience specializing in cybersecurity, cloud computing, networking, and software testing. Known for his clear, concise, and informative wr... Read Full Bio