A Brief History of computers (III): from Turing machines to IBM

Source: Internet
Author: User

Since the concept of Turing machine was put forward, the computer field set off a computer boom. Soon afterwards, Feng nuoman proposed a more practical computer idea. The three important ideas of von noriman are: 1. The computer hardware is composed of five basic components: a memory, a controller, a memory, an input device, and an output device. 2. binary. 3. programs and data are stored in the same memory. It can be seen that this idea is very similar to the current computer. In fact, the concept of modern computer basically inherits from the idea of Feng, but what is different is hardware, modern computer hardware is smaller and faster than previously.
In March 1945, they published a new storage Program-Generic Electronic Computer Solution-electronic discrete variable automatic computer (edvac ). Subsequently, in June 1946, Feng nuoman and others proposed a more complete design report, preliminary study on the logical structure of electronic computer devices. 7 ~ of the same year ~ In August, they taught a specialized course, electronic computer design theory and technology, to experts from more than 20 organizations in the United States and the United Kingdom at the Moore College. it promotes the design and manufacture of storage program computers.

In 1949, the Cambridge University Mathematics laboratory was the first to develop an electronic Discrete Time Series Automatic Computer (edsac). In the United States, it was developed into an Eastern Standard Automatic Computer (SFAC) in 1950. So far, the early stage of the development of electronic computers has ended, and the development period of modern computers has started.

While creating digital computers, we have also developed another important computing tool, analog computers. Physicists often use mathematical equations to describe a process when summarizing natural laws. On the contrary, the process of solving mathematical equations may also use the physical process simulation method, the calculation ruler made in 1620 has already divided multiplication and division into addition and subtraction for calculation. Maxwell cleverly transformed the calculation of points (area) into a measurement of the length, and in 1855 it was made into an integral instrument.

Fourier analysis, another major achievement of Mathematical Physics in the 19th century, played a direct role in promoting the development of the simulator. In the late 19th century and the early 20th century, we have successively made analysis machines for calculating Fourier Coefficients and differential equations. However, when trying to promote the solution of partial differential equations by a differential analyzer and solving general scientific computing problems with a simulator, people gradually realized the limitations of the simulator in terms of universality and accuracy, and focus on digital computers. After the advent of electronic digital computers, analog computers continue to develop and are combined with digital computers to generate a Hybrid computer. Simulation machines and mixers have developed into a special variety of modern computers, that is, efficient information processing tools or simulation tools used in specific fields.

Since the middle of the 20th century, computers have been in a period of rapid development. Computers have evolved from hardware to computer systems that include three subsystems: hardware, software, and firmware. Computer system performance-the price is increased by two orders of magnitude every 10 years on average. Computer categories have also been further divided into micro-computers, small computers, General computers (including giant, large, and medium-sized computers), as well as various specialized machines (such as various control computers, analog-digital Hybrid computers).

Computer devices, from electronic tubes to transistors, and then from discrete components to integrated circuits and microprocessor, have led to three major advances in computer development. In the electronic tube computer period (1946 ~ 1959), computers are mainly used for scientific computing. Primary memory is the main factor that determines the appearance of computer technology. At that time, the main memory was of the mercury Delay Line Memory, cathode ray indication tube electrostatic memory, magnetic drum and magnetic core memory. Computers were generally classified according to this type.

In the age of transistor computers (1959 ~ 1964), the primary memory uses the core memory, and the drum and disk are used as the primary secondary storage. Not only does scientific computing continue to develop with computers, but small and medium-sized computers, especially low-cost small data processing computers, have begun mass production.

In 1964, with the development of integrated circuit computers, computers also entered a period of product serialization. Semiconductor memory gradually replaces the primary memory of magnetic core memory, and disks become indispensable secondary memory, and virtual storage technology is widely used. With the rapid development of various semiconductor read-only memory and Rewritable read-only memory, as well as the development and application of microprogram technology, firmware subsystems began to appear in computer systems.

After 1970s, the integration of Integrated Circuits for computers rapidly grew from small scale to large-scale and ultra-large scale. The emergence of micro-processors and micro-computers led to a rapid increase in the performance of various types of computers. With the advent of 4-bit, 8-bit, 16-bit, 32-bit, and 64-bit micro-computers, demand for small computers, General computers, and specialized computers has also increased accordingly.

After the use of micro-computers in society, an office building, a school, and a warehouse often have dozens or even hundreds of computers. The emergence of local networks for their interconnection further promotes the development of computer application systems from centralized systems to distributed systems.

During the Electronic Tube computer period, some computers were configured with assembly languages and sub-libraries. In the transistor computer stage, the COBOL language for transaction processing, the ALGOL language for scientific computers, and The LISP Language for symbol processing start to enter the practical stage. The operating system is initially formed to change the computer's usage from manual operations to automatic job management.

After the development of integrated circuit computer, a considerable number of software subsystems have been formed in the computer. The types of advanced languages have been further increased, and the operating systems have been improved, it has multiple features, including batch processing, time-based processing, and real-time processing. Database management systems, communication processing programs, and network software are constantly added to software subsystems. The functions of the software subsystem are constantly enhanced, which significantly changes the computer's usage attributes and significantly improves the usage efficiency.

In modern computers, peripheral devices generally have more than half the value of computer hardware subsystems, and their technical level determines the technical outlook of computers to a large extent. Peripheral equipment technology is highly comprehensive and relies on the integration of electronics, mechanics, optics, magnetic, and other disciplines, it also depends on precision mechanical technology, electrical and electronic processing technology, as well as metering technology and technology level.

Peripheral devices include secondary storage devices and input/output devices. The secondary storage includes disks, drums, tapes, laser memory, mass storage, and micro-memory. The input and output devices are divided into input, output, conversion, and mode information processing devices and terminal devices. Among these various devices, disks, terminal devices, pattern information processing devices, and conversion devices have the greatest impact on computer technology.

A new generation of computers is a smart computer system that combines information collection, storage, processing, communication, and artificial intelligence. It can not only process general information, but also process knowledge. It has the ability of formal reasoning, association, learning and interpretation, and will help humans develop unknown fields and acquire new knowledge.


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