The company introduces the IBM System z9 mainframe in July. Representing a three-year, $1.2 billion development effort encompassing 5,000 IBM engineers, software developers, technology professionals and security experts from around the world, the System z9 performs as the hub in a new era of collaborative computing.
Available in two models, the new mainframe system can process one billion transactions a day, more than double the performance of its predecessor (the IBM zSeries z990, run five world-class operating systems, and process up to 6,000 secure online handshakes per second (about three times as many as before). The system's core processor possesses 18 billion transistors -- three for every person on the planet. IBM begins shipping the z9 on September 16.
In February, the company rolls out the IBM eServer p5-510, designed to bring POWER5 performance and advanced virtualization capabilities to an entry level UNIX and Linux server. In June, IBM previews details of a planned high-density POWER5-based system for high-performance computing. The planned 16-way IBM eServer p5-575 cluster node is capable of sustaining 87.3 Gflops of performance and can achieve up to 55 percent greater speed than the eight-way IBM eServer p5-575 cluster node that was introduced in the fall of 2004. In October, the company debuts four new UNIX systems -- including the IBM System p5-550Q, p5-520, p5-550 and p5-505 -- that are equipped with POWER5+ microprocessor technology and are intended for small and medium-sized businesses. The following month, IBM previews a pre-release version of the upgraded high-density POWER5+ IBM p5-575 supercomputer.
The company adds to its storage products lineup: the IBM TotalStorage DS4800 (Models 82A & 84A), a new four gigabit per second midrange storage system; and the IBM System Storage N5200 and IBM System Storage N5500, two members of a new series of networked storage systems designed to help midrange customers -- particularly enterprises operating distributed networks across remote sites -- dramatically reduce their total cost of ownership.
In February, IBM, Sony Corporation, Sony Group and Toshiba Corporation disclose details of their breakthrough jointly developed "Cell" microprocessor featuring supercomputer-like floating point performance with observed clock speeds greater than 4GHz. The team has collaborated on the development of the "Cell" microprocessor at a joint design center established in Austin, Tex., since March 2001. The prototype chip integrates 234 million transistors and is fabricated with 90 nanometer SOI technology. Initial production of "Cell" is expected to begin at IBM's 300mm wafer fabrication facility in East Fishkill, N.Y., followed by Sony Group's Nagasaki Fab. In August, the team releases key documents that describe details of the Cell Broadband Engine Architecture as the next major milestone in the Cell project. In November, IBM and Sony release new software components and documentation -- including extensions to Linux that support Cell programming -- for the Cell Broadband Engine Architecture technology.
U.S. President George W. Bush announces that IBM has been awarded the 2004 National Medal of Technology by the U.S. Department of Commerce and the Technology Administration in recognition of more than four decades of innovation in semiconductor technology. The award cites such IBM breakthroughs as the development of multicore-processor integration, DRAM (Dynamic Random Access Memory), the use of copper on-chip wiring, Silicon on Insulator (SOI) technology and high-speed Silicon Germanium chips. The National Medal of Technology is the highest honor awarded by the President of the United States to the nation's leading innovators.
For the thirteenth consecutive year, IBM earns more U.S. patents than any other company. The 2,941 patents issued to IBM in 2005 derive from the innovative work of more than 4,500 employees.
The world's foremost supercomputing authority names IBM's Blue Gene/L as the most powerful supercomputer in the world, with a sustained performance of 280.6 teraflops. Along with Blue Gene/L in the TOP500 list's top three supercomputers are IBM's own Blue Gene Watson system at 91.29 teraflops and the ASC Purple supercomputer at the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory with 63.39 teraflops.
Early in 2005, IBM provides technology and services valued at just over $3 million (and employees donate another $1.2) million to assist the victims of the tsunami that devastated parts of Asia in December 2004. In September 2005, IBM makes a $3.2 million donation of services and technology in support of relief and recovery operations following Hurricane Katrina in the United States. An IBM Crisis Response Team in Baton Rouge, La., provides technical assistance to state and federal officials, and IBM's Corporate Community Relations team works with local governments and not-for-profit organizations throughout the affected area. In October, IBM and its employees support a humanitarian relief effort following a devastating earthquake in South Asia. An IBM Crisis Response Team donates technology, equipment and consulting expertise, and IBM employees across the world open their wallets to support the disaster's victims in Pakistan.
IBM announces it will help address the critical shortage of math and science teachers by enabling some of its most experienced employees to become fully accredited teachers in their local communities upon electing to leave the company. The IBM Transition to Teaching program will begin as a pilot with as many as 100 U.S. employees in various areas across the country. Each employee will be able to participate in both online course work and more traditional courses, including online mentoring while remaining at the company and student teaching for up to three months in order to meet state certification requirements. IBM will reimburse participants up to $15,000 for tuition and stipends while they student teach.