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.
The engineers and inventors of the post WWII period turned their attention to advancements in electronics, communication, and entertainment. Breakthrough inventions range from LEGOs and computer gaming to the integrated circuit and Ethernet -- a range of advancements that have little in common except they changed our lives.
Neil Fromer is the executive director of the Resnick Institute, a program for energy and sustainability at the California Institute of Technology, working to develop new ideas and research technologies related to providing a sustainable future. He spoke to us about the severity of the current drought in California and how solar energy can help prevent such situations in the future.
From home enthusiasts to workers on the manufacturing floor, everyone's imagination is captured by the potential of 3D printing. Prototyping, spare parts creation, art delivery, human organ creation, and even mass product production are all being targeted as current and potential uses for the technology.
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.