The IBM 3340 disk unit -- known as "Winchester" after IBM's internal project name -- is introduced, an advanced technology which more than doubled the information density on disk surfaces. It featured a smaller, lighter read/write head that was designed to ride on an air film only 18 millionths of an inch thick. Winchester technology was adopted by the industry and used for the next two decades.
Dr. Leo Esaki, an IBM Fellow who joined the company in 1960, shares the 1973 Nobel Prize in physics for his 1958 discovery of the phenomenon of electron tunneling. His discovery of the semiconductor junction called the Esaki diode finds wide use in electronics applications. More importantly, his work in the field of semiconductors lays a foundation for further exploration in the electronic transport of solids.
Litigation between Control Data Corporation (CDC) and IBM in Federal District Court is dismissed pursuant to an out-of-court settlement that includes sale of the Service Bureau Corporation to CDC.
IBM announces several new industry-specialized products: the 3650 Retail Store System; the 3660 Supermarket System; the 3600 Finance Communication System; the 3890 Document Processor; the 5275 Direct Numerical Control Station; and the Energy Management System for utilities.
Other new products introduced in 1973 include the 3740 data entry system, using the IBM Diskette, a new storage medium; the 3336 disk pack; the Correcting "Selectric" Typewriter; the Mag Card II Typewriter with an electronic memory; and the IBM Model 96 single-element typewriter, designed to meet Japanese Katakana alphabet requirements.
IBM scientists fabricate a Josephson Junction, an experimental electronic device that can be switched in about 10 trillionths of a second.
IBM researchers develop an amorphous film that may increase the versatility of magnetic bubble circuits for storing and processing information in future computers.
The company introduces a Dental Plan for employees and their families.