IBM announces the fabrication of experimental one-million-bit memory chips. The chips enter IBM's product lineup two years later as part of the IBM 3090.
The Advanced Peer-To-Peer Networking architecture (APPN), soon to be widely used by mid-range systems, is developed by IBM researchers. It allows individual computers to talk to one another without a central server.
John F. Akers is elected chief executive officer, succeeding John R. Opel, who continues as chairman of the board. Thomas J. Watson, Jr., retires from IBM Board of Directors.
IBM and ROLM Corporation announce a merger agreement making ROLM a wholly-owned subsidiary of IBM.
IBM discontinues marketing biomedical products, and sells its blood processing equipment business to COBE Laboratories Inc.
IBM announces the 3480 Magnetic Tape Subsystem, which doubles the speed at which tape units transfer data. The industry's most advanced magnetic tape system, the 3480 introduces a new generation of tape drives that replace the familiar reel of tape with an easy-to-handle cartridge. The 3480 was the industry's first tape system to use "thin-film" recording head technology.
IBM also announces the 4248 impact printer, the fastest to date, and the 5531 industrial computer for plant environments.
Also introduced during 1984 are the Personal Computer/AT, IBM's most powerful personal computer to date; the IBM Portable Personal Computer; the IBM Cabling System; the IBM Office Systems Family, complementary programs for use on IBM Personal Computers, System/36 and System/370 computers; the Personal Decision Series, five PC programs centered around a new data management program; and the Business Management Series, a commercial accounting system with functions usually provided by host computer programs.
The IBM Credit Corporation introduces the IBM credit card, and passes $2 billion in total assets.
IBM forms Trintex, with Sears, Roebuck and Co. Inc. and CBS, Inc., to develop commercial videotext service for home use.
The company forms the International Market Network with Merrill Lynch & Co. Inc., to offer an information delivery and office automation system.
IBM eliminates mandatory retirement at age 70 for employees throughout the United States, and medical benefits are redesigned to emphasize prevention, and increase flexibility and personal choice.
IBM announces a program to give IBM Personal Computers and PCjr systems to urban schools to establish computer literacy courses.