Fifth generation of computers: history, characteristics, hardware, software - science - 2023



The fifth generation computers refers to the use of technology associated with artificial intelligence, relying on ultra-large-scale integration technology, which allows countless modules to be placed on a single chip.

This generation is based on the technological advances obtained in previous computer generations. Therefore, it is destined to spearhead a new industrial revolution.

These computers use fiber optic technology to be able to handle expert systems, artificial intelligence, robotics, etc. They have fairly high processing speeds and are much more reliable.

Its implementation is designed to improve the interaction between humans and machines by taking advantage of human intelligence and the large amount of data accumulated since the beginning of the digital age.

Scientists are constantly working to keep increasing the processing power of computers. They are trying to create a computer with a real IQ, with the help of programming and advanced technologies.

Some of these advanced fifth generation technologies include artificial intelligence, quantum computing, nanotechnology, parallel processing, etc.

Smart computers

Artificial intelligence and machine learning may not be the same, but they are used interchangeably to create devices and programs that are smart enough to interact with humans, with other computers, and with the environment and programs.

These computers can understand spoken words and mimic human reasoning. They can respond to their environment using different types of sensors.

The goal is to bring machines with a genuine IQ, the ability to reason logically and with real knowledge.

The fifth generation computer is still in the process of development, because it is not yet a reality. I mean, this computer is still unfinished. Scientists are still working on it.

Therefore, this computer will be totally different and totally new to the last four generations of computers.

Origin and history of the fifth generation

Japanese project

In 1981, when Japan first informed the world about its plans for the fifth generation of computers, the Japanese government announced that it planned to spend a seed capital of about $ 450 million.

His goal was to develop intelligent computers, which could converse with humans in natural language and recognize images.

It was intended to update hardware technology, as well as alleviate programming problems by creating artificial intelligence operating systems.

This project was the first comprehensive effort to consolidate the progress made in artificial intelligence, incorporating it into a new generation of very powerful computers, for use by the common man in their daily lives.

Western reaction

This Japanese initiative shocked a lethargic West, realizing that information technology had reached a new benchmark.

This unexpected announcement and from an unexpected source gave artificial intelligence research a status that was not yet recognized in the West.

In response, a group of US companies formed the Microelectronics and Computer Technology Corporation, a consortium to cooperate in the investigations.


Many artificial intelligence projects are being implemented. Among the pioneers are Google, Amazon, Microsoft, Apple, Facebook and Tesla.

Initial implementations are seen in smart home devices meant to automate and integrate different activities around the home, or in self-driving cars that are being sighted on the roads.

The proliferation of computing devices with the possibility of self-learning, with normal interaction based on acquired experience and the environment, gave impetus to the concept of the Internet of Things.

Characteristics of the fifth generation of computers

Until then, computer generations were classified only by hardware, but fifth-generation technology also includes software.

Many features found in the CPUs of third and fourth generation computers became part of the microprocessor architecture in the fifth generation.

High complexity

Fifth generation computers are characterized by being highly complex computers, where programming skills are not necessary for the user. They solve very complex problems, helping in decision making.

Its objective is to solve highly complex problems, which require great intelligence and experience when solved by people.

Artificial intelligence

These computers have high performance, in addition to a large memory and storage capacity.

The goal of fifth-generation computing is to develop mechanisms that can respond to natural language and are capable of learning and organizing.

These computers can converse with people, as well as being able to imitate human senses and intelligence.

The computer has artificial intelligence built in and thus can recognize images and graphics. They have a voice recognition function. Natural language can be used to develop programs.

High technology

These machines incorporate VLSI (Very Large Scale Integration) and Ultra Large Scale Integration (ULSI) technology.

The use of parallel processing and superconductors is helping to make artificial intelligence a reality. Working with computers of this generation is fast and you can also multitask simultaneously. They have a multiprocessor system for parallel processing.

The speed of operation is in terms of LIPS (logical inferences per second). The circuits use fiber optics. Quantum, molecular computing and nanotechnology will be fully utilized.


This generation has been influenced by the emergence of Ultra Large Scale Integration (ULSI), which is the condensation of thousands of microprocessors into a single microprocessor.

In addition, it was marked by the appearance of microprocessors and semiconductors.

Companies that produce microprocessors include Intel, Motorola, Zilog, and others. In the market you can see the presence of Intel microprocessors with the 80486 and Pentium models.

The fifth generation of computers also use bio-chips and gallium arsenide as memory devices.

Parallel processing

When CPU clock speeds began to hover in the 3 to 5 GHz range, it became more important to solve other problems like CPU power dissipation.

Industry's ability to produce ever-faster CPU systems began to be threatened, linked to Moore's Law on the periodic doubling of the number of transistors.

At the beginning of the 21st century, many forms of parallel computing began to proliferate, including multi-core architectures at the low end, in addition to massive parallel processing at the high end.

Common consumer machines and game consoles started to have parallel processors, such as Intel Core and AMD K10.

Graphics card companies like Nvidia and AMD started introducing large parallel systems like CUDA and OpenCL.

These computers use parallel processing, where instructions are executed in parallel. Parallel processing is much faster than serial processing.

In serial processing, each task is performed one after the other. On the other hand, in parallel processing, several tasks are performed simultaneously.


The fifth generation has allowed computers to solve most problems on their own. It has made great strides in software, from artificial intelligence to object-oriented programming.

The main objective has been to develop devices that can respond to the normal language that people use. They use very high-level languages ​​like C ++ and Java.

Artificial intelligence

This area of ​​computing is concerned with making the computer perform tasks that, if successfully performed by humans, would require intelligence.

Early efforts have sought to implement systems capable of working on a wide variety of tasks, as well as special systems that perform just one type of task very well.

Expert systems

These systems seek to have a competence comparable to that of an expert in some very well defined area of ​​activity.

Expert systems offer numerous benefits and are therefore being used in a wide variety of real-life applications.

Such systems can work very well in situations where knowledge and skills of the kind that a person can only acquire through training are required.

Lisp and Prolog

John McCarthy created the Lisp programming language. It had great value for computer technology, particularly for what became known as artificial intelligence. Artificial intelligence researchers in the US made Lisp their standard.

On the other hand, a new computer language called Prolog was developed in Europe, which was more elegant than Lisp and had potential for artificial intelligence.

The Japanese project selected to use Prolog as the programming language for artificial intelligence, rather than Lisp-based programming.

Inventions and their authors

Many technologies that are part of the fifth generation include speech recognition, superconductors, quantum computing, and also nanotechnology.

The artificial intelligence-based computer began with the invention of the first smartphone invented by IBM, called Simon.

Parallel processing

You could say that the fifth generation of computers was created by James Maddox, who invented the parallel computing system.

By using ultra-large-scale integration technologies, chips with millions of components were produced.

Microsoft Cortana

It is the personal assistant for Windows 10 and Windows Phone 8.1, which helps users with questions, schedule appointments, and find destinations.

It is available in multiple languages. Other examples of virtual assistants are Apple's Siri on the iPhone, Google Now for Android, and Braina.

Web search

Common to most people are search engines like Google and Bing, which use artificial intelligence to process searches.

To carry out these searches it is necessary to continually improve and also respond to user requirements in the fastest and most accurate way.

Google since 2015 has improved its algorithm with RankBrain, which applies machine learning to establish which results will be most interesting in a specific search.

On the other hand, in 2017 Bing launched smart search, which takes into account much more information and offers answers more quickly, to be able to interact easily with the search engine.

Search by images

Another interesting application that current search engines have is having the ability to search through images.

By simply taking a photo you can identify a product, where to buy it, or also identify people and places.

Featured Computers

IBM Deep Blue

This computer was able to defeat the world chess champion in 1997, after playing a series of games, the final result of which was two wins for the computer and one for the human, in addition to three draws. It was the classic plot of man versus machine.

Behind the triumph was important information technology, which boosted the ability of computers to also handle the calculations needed to discover new drugs, handle large database searches, and perform the massive and complex calculations needed in many scientific fields.

It had a total of 32 processors with parallel processing, being able to analyze 200 million chess moves per second in its historic victory.

IBM Watson

An example of artificial intelligence in computers is IBM's Watson. He appeared as a contestant on the American television show “Jeopardy” in 2010, defeating two champions from this television show.

Watson consists of numerous high-powered processors that work in parallel by searching a huge autonomous database, without an Internet connection.

The only prompts that startle this computer are the words typed on the keyboard or spoken into its microphone. The only action Watson can do is speak or print his response.

Watson's amazing performance in the trivia game requires natural language processing, machine learning, knowledge reasoning, plus deep analysis.

Watson has thus shown that a complete and new generation will be possible for the interaction of humans with machines.

Advantages and disadvantages


- They are the fastest and most powerful computers to date. They perform many instructions in a minute.

- They are versatile for communication and resource sharing.

- They are capable of running a large number of applications at the same time and also at a very high speed. They have a breakthrough in parallel processing.

- They are more reliable compared to previous generations.

- These computers are available in different sizes. They can be much smaller in size.

- They are available in unique features.

- These computers are readily available.

- They are easy to use.

- They have reduced the complexity of real world problems. They have changed people's lives.

- It is not more difficult to solve long calculations in nanoseconds.

- They are being used in all areas of life.

- They are useful for doing work from days to hours in all areas of life.

- These computers provide easier-to-use interfaces with multimedia.

- They have developed an artificial intelligence.


- They require the use of low-level languages.

- They have more sophisticated and complex tools.

- They can make human minds boring.

- They can make humans lazy. They have replaced many human jobs.

- They always beat human in many games while playing.

- They may be responsible for human brains being damned and forgotten.

- They are very expensive.


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