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.
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