For the fifth consecutive year, IBM is the U.S. patents leader. In 1997, IBM received 1,724 U.S. patents from the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office--over 300 more than any other company. The achievement caps a year in which IBM introduced a breakthrough in semiconductor technology with the development of integrated circuits using copper wiring in place of aluminum. Big Blue has more than 50 issued and pending patents relating to the use of copper interconnect technology. IBM also set a record for disk drive storage capacity, breaking the barrier of 10 billion bits of data per square inch. The company also continued to introduce advances in speech recognition, including new Via Voice products for the Chinese and Japanese markets. IBM's 1997 U.S. patent portfolio includes more than 550 software-related patents and over 250 related to network computing. Also in 1997, IBM's Deep Blue supercomputer defeated Garry Kasparov in a chess match that captured worldwide attention, although didn't win the company many friends. For details on these and other technologies, check out IBM's Website at www.ibm.com.
During a teardown of the iPad Air and Microsoft Surface Pro 3 at the Medical Design & Manufacturing Show in Schaumburg, Ill., an engineer showed this "inflammatory" video about the dangers of maliciously mishandling lithium-ion batteries.
Science fiction author Isaac Asimov may have the best rules for effective brainstorming and creativity. His never-before-published essay, "On Creativity," recently made it to the Web pages of MIT Technology Review.
Much has been made over the potentially dangerous flammability of lithium-ion batteries after major companies like Boeing, Sony, and Tesla have grappled with well-publicized battery fires. Researchers at Stanford University may have come up with a solution to this problem with a smart sensor for lithium-ion batteries that provides a warning if the battery is about to overheat or catch fire.
In this new Design News feature, "How it Works," we’re starting off by examining the inner workings of the electronic cigarette. While e-cigarettes seemed like a gimmick just two or three years ago, they’re catching fire -- so to speak. Sales topped $1 billion last year and are set to hit $10 billion by 2017. Cigarette companies are fighting back by buying up e-cigarette manufacturers.
Focus on Fundamentals consists of 45-minute on-line classes that cover a host of technologies. You learn without leaving the comfort of your desk. All classes are taught by subject-matter experts and all are archived. So if you can't attend live, attend at your convenience.