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.
Linear guides are one of the most important components required for the development of automated or computer-controlled equipment. Aluminum profile extrusions, used for these guides in machine design, can enable designed-in functional features.
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