IBM researchers fabricate the fastest dynamic memory computer chips yet reported. The experimental chips can retrieve a single bit of information in 20 billionths of a second, four times faster than the current generation of dynamic random access memory (DRAM) chips. IBM engineers also report that they have developed an experimental one-million-bit static random access memory (SRAM) chip, the densest chip of its kind yet reported.
IBM introduces the IBM Application System/400 (AS/400), a new family of easy-to-use computers designed for small and intermediate-sized companies. As part of the introduction, IBM and IBM Business Partners worldwide announce more than 1,000 software packages in the biggest simultaneous applications announcement in computer history. The AS/400 quickly becomes one of the world's most popular business computing systems.
The IBM Suggestion Plan celebrates its 60th anniversary. Thomas J. Watson, Sr., began the program in 1928 in Endicott, New York, to help cut costs and boost productivity. Since 1981, the worldwide program has awarded more than $100 million for employee suggestions and has saved IBM over $600 million.
Contel Corporation acquires RealCom Communications Corporation, a wholly-owned IBM subsidiary. IBM acquired RealCom in 1986 when Satellite Business Systems was acquired by MCI Communications. RealCom had been a subsidiary of SBS.
Maxwell Communication Corporation plc purchases Science Research Associates, which is a wholly-owned subsidiary of IBM that creates and publishes educational materials, achievement and vocational tests, and industrial training programs.
IBM announces the Enterprise System/3090 Model 600S, the industry's most powerful general purpose processor. The Model 600S leads a new 10-model S series of advanced mainframe computers that take advantage of IBM's Enterprise Systems Architecture/370, Multiple Virtual System/ESA and Virtual Machine/Extended Architecture operating systems and data management software.
Among the products introduced in 1988 are: the IBM 3745 high-speed communication controller, featuring logic chips that can hold up to 40,000 circuits each; the IBM 3827 and IBM 3835 page printers; the Quickwriter Printer, a high-speed dot-matrix printer capable of producing true letter-quality text and graphics; and the IBM Wheelwriter Series II family of upgradeable typewriters, including two that feature a 25-line screen display.
New software products include: Enterprise Systems Architecture/370, to give customers with large systems access to 8,000 times more virtual storage than IBM's previous architecture; and extensions to the Advanced Interactive Executive (AIX) operating system family to include the company's largest computers with the announcement of AIX/370.
The IBM Personal System/2 Screen Reader is announced. It permits blind or visually impaired people to hear the text as it is displayed on the screen in the same way a sighted person would see it. This is the first in the IBM Independence Series of products for computer users with special needs.
The U.S. Federal Aviation Administration awards IBM a $3.55 billion contract to develop, install and service the Advanced Automation System. AAS is a major portion of the FAA's National Airspace Systems plan, a comprehensive strategy for modernizing the U.S. air traffic control system. The U.S. Postal Service awards IBM a nearly $200 million contact to supply up to 900 IBM 9370 Information Systems and 4381 processors to manage a variety of administrative activities. The contract also includes installation of several hundred IBM 3270 and ASCII terminals.
Galileo, a European consortium of 10 leading airlines, places one of the largest orders for IBM equipment ever signed by IBM in Europe. IBM will supply four IBM 3090 Model 280S systems and will upgrade Galileo's two existing 3090 Model 180Es to 280S specifications.
IBM Korea installs the most advanced information system in Olympic history for the 1988 Games held in Seoul. IBM France is selected as the information technology sponsor of the 16th Winter Olympic Games to be held in Albertville and Savoy, France, in 1992.
Eastman Kodak Company acquires IBM's copier service business and existing sales agreements in the United States, and Kodak agrees to buy IBM's existing copier service, sales and lease agreements in 16 countries outside the United States.
U.S. President Ronald Reagan presents the National Medal of Science to IBM Fellow Ralph E. Gomory and the National Medal of Technology to IBM Fellow Robert H. Dennard. IBM Fellows Rolf Landauer and Heinrich Rohrer are elected to the U.S. National Academy of Sciences for their achievements in original research.
IBM collaborates with MCI Communications and the University of Michigan to form a computer network, the National Science Foundation Network (NSFNET), that provides the network infrastructure and lays the groundwork for the explosive growth of the Internet in the 1990s. The NSFNET boosts network capacity, not only making it faster, but also allowing more intensive forms of data, such as the graphics now common on the World Wide Web, to travel across the Internet.
IBM has sold more than 250,000 System/34, System/36 and System/38 computers worldwide, making it the most widely-used midrange family in the industry.
IBM's manufacturing plant in Greenock, Scotland, ships its two millionth personal computer product, an IBM Personal System/2, and the IBM plant in Wangaratta, Australia, ships IBM's three millionth Personal System/2 - just 18 months after the PS/2 family of products was introduced in April 1987.
IBM and Siemens announce plans for a series of joint activities in telecommunications products for private networks.
SEMATECH, a research consortium, selects IBM's four-million-bit memory chip design as one of its vehicles for investigating and developing advanced semiconductor manufacturing process technologies. IBM is one of the member companies of the consortium.
IBM joins seven U.S. and European companies in the Open Software Foundation to develop and provide an open software environment, and announces its membership in X/Open, an international organization working to create a common application environment.
The company decides that manufacturing operations at the Boca Raton, Florida, and Tucson, Arizona, sites will be phased out.
The President's Committee on Employment of the Handicapped honors IBM as 1988 Employer of the Year for its active efforts in hiring, training and promoting people with disabilities.
At the Fourth International Conference on AIDS, the World Health Organization (WHO) announces that IBM will donate equipment, software and support, valued at $1.5 million, to WHO for use in its fight against AIDS. IBM makes a $65,000 contribution to the American Foundation for AIDS Research. IBM's contributions reflect its concern about the growing effects of AIDS and the importance of increased education efforts.
The IBM Job Training Program celebrates its 20th anniversary. The program has 74 major centers in the United States offering classes in computer programming, PC operations, data entry, word processing and other office skills.
IBM Europe/Middle East/Africa Corporation donates equipment worth some $6.5 million to the United Nations Environment Program. The equipment will be used to support the Global Resource Information Database, a computer-based environmental information service operated by UNEP.
In the Asia/Pacific Group, IBM Japan's Braille Forum project has become a model for using information technology to assist the handicapped. Researchers at the IBM Tokyo Research Laboratory have developed a software system that converts English or Japanese katakana characters into Braille far faster than previous systems.
To improve child health in Latin America, the IBM World Trade Americas Group makes a grant to the International Child Health Foundation and establishes a partnership with the Instituto de Investigación Nutricional in Lima, Peru. The objective is to train public health experts in the use of IBM computers to coordinate diarrheal disease programs, and to provide health education for parents in poor and rural areas.
Of the nearly 7,300 new employees hired in the United States, about 36 percent are women and 24 percent are minorities. Women hold 20 percent of the company's management positions, while minorities hold 12 percent. Women fill nearly 11 percent of the senior management positions while minorities hold almost 9 percent. The company also purchases more than $155 million in products and services from over 800 minority-owned firms, over $90 million from more than 1,000 firms owned primarily by women, and over $25 million from more than 70 companies employing primarily handicapped workers.