Friday, 12 July 2013

Research and inventions

An anechoic chamber inside IBM's Yamato research facility

In 1945, The Watson Scientific Computing Laboratory was founded at Columbia University in New York, New York. The renovated fraternity house on Manhattan's West Side was used as IBM's first laboratory devoted to pure science. The lab was the forerunner of IBM's Research Division, which today operates research facilities around the world.

In 1966, IBM researcher Robert H. Dennard invented Dynamic Random Access Memory (DRAM) cells, one-transistor memory cells that store each single bit of information as an electrical charge in an electronic circuit. The technology permits major increases in memory density and is widely adopted throughout the industry where it remains in widespread use today.

IBM has been a leading proponent of the Open Source Initiative, and began supporting Linux in 1998. The company invests billions of dollars in services and software based on Linux through the IBM Linux Technology Center, which includes over 300 Linux kernel developers. IBM has also released code under different open source licenses, such as the platform-independent software framework Eclipse (worth approximately US$40 million at the time of the donation), the three-sentence International Components for Unicode (ICU) license, and the Java-based relational database management system (RDBMS) Apache Derby. IBM's open source involvement has not been trouble-free, however (see SCO v. IBM). Famous inventions by IBM include the following:

Automated teller machine (ATM) Floppy disk Hard disk drive Electronic keypunch Magnetic stripe card Virtual machine Scanning tunneling microscope Reduced instruction set computing Relational database Universal Product Code (UPC) Financial swap SABRE airline reservation system Dynamic Random Access Memory (DRAM) Watson artificial intelligence

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