After the use of integrated circuits in large scale; the next level required was to get down in size. Hundreds of components could fit altogether in one chip in large scale integration. In 1980`s, very large scale integration, managed to put hundreds of thousands of components onto one chip. Similarly, in ultra large scale integration, the number went to millions.
Due to the this ability of getting fit onto an area which was about half the size of a dime in US helped to diminish the price along with the price of computers. This led to an increase of their power, reliability along with the efficiency.
Another era came in 1971, when the Intel 4004 chip took one step ahead of the integrated circuits. It located all the components like central processing unit, memory and input and out controls on a minute chip.
Now one microprocessor could be programmed for several numbers of requirements. However, previously one integrated circuit was designed for a unique requirement. Now days, microprocessors are used in our everyday household items like microwave ovens, automobiles and television sets, etc.
In this way everyday people harnessed computers` s power in such a condensed form. Now large business or government contracts were no longer developed exclusively. In mid-1970`s, computers were brought to general consumers by computer manufacturers.
In these minicomputers, packages used to be offered where even non-technical users got an array of applications, popularly known as word processing and spread sheet programs. In this field the pioneers were Radio Shack, Apple computers and Commodore.
New ways were developed to harness the potential of computers especially in the workplace. After the small computers became more powerful, numerous applications were done to link them together, or networked to share memory space, information alongwith software’s and also to communicate with each other.
In mainframe computers, this used to be one powerful computer that shared time with many terminals such as applications.