IBM introduces the IBM 5100 Portable Computer, a 50 lb. desktop machine that put computer capabilities at the fingertips of engineers, analysts, statisticians, and other problem-solvers. More "luggable" than portable, the 5100 can serve as a terminal for the System/370 and costs from $9000 to $20,000.
IBM researcher Benoit Mandelbrot conceives fractal geometry -- the concept that seemingly irregular shapes can have identical structure at all scales. This new geometry makes it possible to describe mathematically the kinds of irregularities existing in nature. Fractals later make a great impact on engineering, economics, metallurgy, art and health sciences, and are also applied in the field of computer graphics and animation.
IBM also announces the System/32 mid-range computer and the Electronic "Selectric" Composer.
Aetna Life & Casualty joins IBM and COMSAT General in Satellite Business Systems, a domestic satellite partnership.
IBM's researchers fabricate an 8,000-bit semiconductor memory chip with a storage density of five million bits per square inch, and discover the first polymer to become superconducting and lose virtually all resistance to electric current flow.
The General Products Division at San Jose receives IBM's 1,000th patent.
A successful Apollo-Soyuz mission, supported by IBM equipment, concludes NASA's Apollo series of space flights.
The World Trade Americas/Far East Corporation moves into new headquarters in Mount Pleasant, New York.
The System Communications Division completes a new facility at the Fujisawa, Japan, development laboratory..
The Arthur K. Watson International Education Center is dedicated at La Hulpe, Belgium. A new Office Products Division manufacturing plant begins operations in Guadalajara, Mexico, and a scientific center is established in Mexico City. Plans are announced for construction of a new Office Products plant in Wangaratta, Australia.