IBM becomes the first company in the world to ship the industry's fastest microcomputer processor, Intel's powerful new i486 microprocessor.
AT&T Bell Laboratories, IBM Research Division, Massachusetts Institute of Technology and MIT Lincoln Laboratories announce plans to form a consortium to explore electronic applications of high-temperature superconductivity. A U.S. patent is granted to IBM for the world-record high-temperature superconducting materials invented by four scientists at the Almaden Research Center.
Jack D. Kuehler becomes president of IBM.
IBM announces a series of restructuring initiatives, including consolidations and capacity reductions at some U.S. locations, and the elimination of selected positions in manufacturing, development, marketing, service, administration and headquarters at most U.S. locations.
IBM completes the sale of ROLM manufacturing and development activities to Siemens AG. A newly-formed company jointly owned by IBM and Siemens will market and service Siemens telephones, telephone switching systems and other telecommunications products in the United States.
The IBM 3390 Direct Access Storage Device, is introduced as the industry's fastest high-performance storage product - 40 percent faster and capable of storing as much data as its predecessor (the IBM 3380K) in one-third the space.
IBM introduces OfficeVision, a family of easy-to-use applications for document preparation, filing, electronic mail and calendars, and the first major product developed using Systems Application Architecture; and CIM Advantage, a package of hardware and software products that provides a comprehensive approach to computer-integrated manufacturing.
IBM introduces Business Recovery Services, an offering that enables a business to continue operations in the event of an unplanned outage or disaster.
The IBM Academy of Technology is established to provide the technical community with the means to improve communications and advance the understanding of key technical areas.
A team of IBM scientists and engineers set a world record in magnetic data storage density by successfully storing a billion bits of information - a gigabit - on a single square inch of disk surface using experimental components. This record data density is 15 to 30 times greater than that of current "hard disk" magnetic storage devices. A billion bits is equivalent to 100,000 double-spaced, typewritten pages - enough paper to make a stack 33 feet tall, about the height of a three-story building.
Researchers at IBM and Helsinki University of Technology in Finland have developed an experimental tool that can vastly improve the diagnosis of brain malfunctions, such as epilepsy, stroke and deafness.
IBM enters into a number of new business alliances as part of its continuing effort to augment and accelerate software development, leverage resources and acquire new technologies. New joint ventures include a partnership with Baxter Healthcare Corporation to form a new healthcare information management company and IBM Japan's alliance with Toshiba Corporation to form a company that will manufacture large-sized color liquid crystal displays.
IBM joins six other members of the Semiconductor Industry Association in funding U.S. Memories, Inc., a corporation being formed to produce memory products in the United States. IBM and Microsoft Corporation announce a joint project to create an industry standard for developing multimedia applications for personal computers. IBM and Compaq sign a cross-license agreement on the use of each other's worldwide patent portfolios. IBM and Micron Technology Inc. agree that Micron will be licensed to use IBM's DRAM technology and will perform certain development work with IBM in various types of memory chips.
IBM and MCA Inc. enter into an agreement with wholly-owned U.S. subsidiaries of Pioneer Electric Corporation of Tokyo to sell Discovision Associates to the Pioneer subsidiaries. Discovision Associates is a joint venture equally owned by IBM and MCA. It was originally formed in 1979 to develop video disc systems and ceased manufacturing operations in 1982.
IBM dedicates the Advanced Semiconductor Technology Center in East Fishkill, New York, a major new laboratory where the most sophisticated chips of the next decade will be developed and readied for mass production. The ASTC will house the nation's only privately owned synchrotron storage ring for X-ray lithography, a technology that permits the etching of extremely fine circuit lines on the surface of silicon.
IBM's component manufacturing facility in Sindelfingen, West Germany, begins fabrication of four-megabit dynamic random access memory (DRAM) memory chips, the first such chips in Europe to be processed in a production-line environment.
IBM announces a five-year, $25 million grant program to help improve U.S. elementary and secondary education through more effective use of technology. During 1988, IBM contributes $42.7 million in cash, equipment and other support to educational institutions in the United States, and $69.7 million in support to education worldwide. In addition, IBM's current contracts, joint studies and sponsored research represent a cash commitment of $127 million worldwide.
IBM supports volunteerism initiatives throughout the world by providing $1 million in seed money for new programs and projects in Argentina, Brazil, Canada, France, Germany, Japan, Pakistan, the United Kingdom and the United States.
The Instituto Autonomo Biblioteca Nacional, Venezuela's national library, initiates a joint project with IBM Venezuela to combine the library's bibliographic database with information contained in seven university libraries.
Of the 11,200 new employees hired in the United States, about 38 percent are women and 24 percent are minorities. Women hold 20 percent of the company's management positions, while minorities hold 13 percent. Women are in nearly 12.6 percent of the senior management positions while minorities fill almost 10 percent of those posts.