IBM makes its most comprehensive product announcement in 25 years by introducing the System/390 family consisting of 18 Enterprise System/9000 processors ranging from midrange computers for office environments to the most powerful computers IBM has ever offered.
IBM scientists discover how to move and position individual atoms on a metal surface, using a scanning tunneling microscope. The technique is demonstrated at IBM's Almaden Research Center in San Jose, California, where scientists created the world's first structure: the letters "I-B-M" - assembled one atom at a time.
IBM Germany consolidates its marketing and service activities in the German Democratic Republic in a new subsidiary corporation, IBM Germany System and Service - East, with headquarters in Dresden.
IBM announces the RISC System/6000, a family of nine workstations that are among the fastest and most powerful in the industry. The RISC System/6000 uses Reduced Instruction Set Computer technology, an innovative computer design pioneered by IBM that simplifies processing steps to speed the execution of commands.
IBM also announces the Personal System/1 (PS/1) that is easy enough for the novice to use, yet powerful enough to do office work at home.
Other IBM researchers fabricate transistors that operate at frequencies of up to 75 billion cycles a second, nearly double the current world record. IBM scientists also devise a technique for producing blue laser light that could significantly increase the capacity of optical data storage devices.
The Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers, Inc., awards its 1990 Corporate Innovation Recognition to IBM for the development of the Multilayer Ceramic Thermal Conduction Module for high performance computers.
IBM joins five other technology leaders in investing in ETEC, Inc., which will manufacture and sell tools and other equipment used in semiconductor manufacturing.
Motorola, Inc. and IBM form ARDIS, a joint venture to offer the first commercial service in the United States for communicating with computers via radio waves. Diebold, Incorporated, and IBM form a joint venture named InterBold to provide automated teller machines and financial self-service systems worldwide.
After two years of successful testing in selected U.S. cities, Prodigy - an information and home shopping service for PC users - becomes available throughout the United States in September. The service is offered by a partnership between IBM and Sears, Roebuck and Co.
IBM announces a partnership agreement with The Association of Tennis Professionals (ATP), in which IBM is the title sponsor of the ATP Tour and will provide information processing systems to collect and manage a broad range of statistical information about the players and the tournaments.
U.S. President George Bush presents the Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award to IBM's Rochester, Minnesota, facility.
IBM contributes in 1990 more than $148 million in cash, equipment and employee expertise in support of educational, social and cultural programs benefiting people around the world.
IBM participates in job training centers in Argentina and the United Kingdom. In the United States, IBM sponsors 95 such centers, which have graduated more than 40,000 people since the initiative was undertaken in 1968. IBM announces plans to establish IBM Computer Competence and Development Centers at universities in Czechoslovakia, Hungary, Poland and other Central and Eastern European countries.
IBM joins 14 other leading U.S. corporations in April to establish a worldwide program designed to achieve environmental, health and safety goals by continuously improving environmental management practices and performance. IBM has invested more than $1 billion since 1973 to provide environmental protection for the communities in which IBM facilities are located. IBM U.S. manufacturing sites in 1990 reduce CFC emissions 47 percent from 1989 levels, for a cumulative reduction of 76 percent since the company's CFC-elimination program began in 1987. Worldwide in 1990 IBM reduces its CFC emissions 43 percent from 1989 levels, for a total reduction of 63 percent since 1987.
IBM Brazil helps to establish courses that train visually impaired persons to become computer programmers. IBM Mexico signs an agreement with the government to assist the estimated two million Mexicans with hearing and speech problems. IBM Japan employees and their families assist local organizations for the blind to translate books and periodicals into Braille using computers and software developed by a blind IBM Japan employee.
Of the 3,500 new employees hired in the United States, about 31.3 percent are women and 26.8 percent are minorities. Women hold 20.8 percent of the company's management positions, while minorities hold 13 percent. Women hold 13 percent of the senior management positions while minorities hold almost 10 percent. The company also purchases more than $195 million in products and services from over 950 minority-owned firms, over $95 million from more than 1,050 firms owned primarily by women, and over $14 million from 59 companies employing primarily handicapped workers.