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.
According to a study by the National Institute of Standards and Technology, one of the factors in the collapse of the original World Trade Center towers on Sept. 11, 2001, was the reduction in the yield strength of the steel reinforcement as a result of the high temperatures of the fire and the loss of thermal insulation.
Robots are getting more agile and automation systems are becoming more complex. Yet the most impressive development in robotics and automation is increased intelligence. Machines in automation are increasingly able to analyze huge amounts of data. They are often able to see, speak, even imitate patterns of human thinking. Researchers at European Automation
call this deep learning.
The promise of the Internet of Things (IoT) is that devices, gadgets, and appliances we use every day will be able to communicate with one another. This potential is not limited to household items or smartphones, but also things we find in our yard and garden, as evidenced by a recent challenge from the element14 design community.
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.