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IBM Still has it

Old 02-21-2006, 01:37 PM
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Default IBM Still has it

Well, Big Blue has had it's ups and downs, business wise, but is still doing some very elegant work. They announced this week that they have demonstrated a new photolithography (essentially light-printing) method that can develop features at 30nm scale, using ultraviolet light of 193nm wavelength. This will allow continuation for some time of producing faster CPUs and denser memory chips with 'conventional' technology.

They don't detail how they do it in the press release, but this is some pretty fancy physics:
[*] One normally thinks of the resolving power of light as being limited to it's wavelength. Here, they are developing features 6 times smaller than the wavelength of light used to print them![*] These features are about 300 atoms wide. Soon, the features will become so small that the material won't behave like a solid anymore, because it won't really be a bulk solid![*] Go, Big Blue! [/list]
http://domino.research.ibm.com/comm/...morelease.html
Old 02-21-2006, 02:33 PM
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Default RE: IBM Still has it

What's the corrugated tin in the picture for?
Old 02-21-2006, 06:28 PM
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Default Re: IBM Still has it

All that technology and you'd think they could focus the camera before taken a pic.


Old 02-21-2006, 06:44 PM
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Default RE: IBM Still has it

Nice to read about Big Blue doing well. My Dad retired after 40 years, my brother left after 15 years and I worked there one summer and in graduate school. Good pay, picnics, fairs, open houses, sporting events, outstanding benefits, awesome country club in upstate NY......that was a great company back in the good old days.
Old 02-21-2006, 07:25 PM
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Default RE: IBM Still has it

seahawg - 2/21/2006 2:33 PM
What's the corrugated tin in the picture for?
I suspect that the shape of the surface comes from laying down a simple test pattern used to demonstrate the technology in the lab, and allowing them to measure the performance characteristics of it (like resolution).

fishie1 - 2/21/2006 6:28 PM
All that technology and you'd think they could focus the camera before taken a pic.
I am not sure what they used to generate those images, but it could not have been a normal camera, even if it was mounted on the most powerful light microscope. Those ridges are smaller than the wavelength of visible light, so it's not possible to see them with visible light. It was computer generated, most likely from detector information coming from scanning electron microscopy, which has a resolution limit of about 5nm (ridge spacing is 30nm). As you approach the resolution limit, objects will naturally look blurrier and noisier.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Scannin...ron_microscope

Tireless - 2/21/2006 6:44 PM
Nice to read about Big Blue doing well. My Dad retired after 40 years, my brother left after 15 years and I worked there one summer and in graduate school. Good pay, picnics, fairs, open houses, sporting events, outstanding benefits, awesome country club in upstate NY......that was a great company back in the good old days.
I have not worked there, but have always been an admirer of their technical work. Were you at Yorktown Heights? From what I have seen from the outside, business wise, they are still struggling to define what the IBM of the future is going to be offering. That is a common theme at older US technology based companies, like IBM, Kodak (where I was for a time), and Dupont, among others. The core business over time becomes based on mature technologies, which are then essentially commodities, and then the only way to compete is based on price. That kind of competition isn't something these guys are good at though. Still a lot of smart people at IBM - hopefully the company can find their place in today's marketplace.
Old 02-21-2006, 07:40 PM
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Default RE: IBM Still has it

We lived in Poughkeepsie and Endwell in the 60's. Good times...good times.

IBM has been trying to find itself for 20 years.....the last few CEO's haven't helped.
Old 02-21-2006, 11:47 PM
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Default Re: IBM Still has it

Wow ! I didn't think anything could top Reelwork' s lunch.

Nice to hear that such leading edge technology can be developed by a dinosaur like IBM
Old 02-21-2006, 11:58 PM
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Elusive - 2/21/2006 11:47 PM

Wow ! I didn't think anything could top Reelwork' s lunch.

Nice to hear that such leading edge technology can be developed by a dinosaur like IBM
IBM is a dinosaur.......much like a crocodile. It may be slow but it can still tear your leg off.

Old 02-22-2006, 10:53 AM
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Default Re: IBM Still has it

"that was a great company back in the good old days."

It was basically a monopoly back then skirting on the edge of anti competitive behavior.
Old 02-22-2006, 11:48 AM
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SeaJay - 2/22/2006 10:53 AM

"that was a great company back in the good old days."

It was basically a monopoly back then skirting on the edge of anti competitive behavior.
That, sir, was never proven in a court of law.
Old 02-22-2006, 12:33 PM
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Tireless - 2/22/2006 11:48 AM

SeaJay - 2/22/2006 10:53 AM

"that was a great company back in the good old days."

It was basically a monopoly back then skirting on the edge of anti competitive behavior.
That, sir, was never proven in a court of law.
No, but Judge Edelstein did everything he could - even long after his retirement - to stick it to IBM. As a result Microsoft and others were able to use business tactics against IBM that IBM was under court order NOT to use.
Old 02-22-2006, 02:49 PM
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Default RE: IBM Still has it

I haven't followed every twist and turn in IBM's business, but have run into their technical work many times - it's difficult to truely say who is the best, but they would surely have to be a contender.

Here's one example, a whimsical advertisement by IBM from back in 1990, before the word Nanotechnology existed. This shows their scientists spelling out the word 'IBM', BY MANIPULATING SINGLE XENON ATOMS ON A SOLID SURFACE!. Sorry to yell with caps, but that is worth yelling about. Each bump there is a single xenon atom, that these guys are picking up and laying down where they want to. That was just a stunning demonstration of capabilities. They did it with a previously unknown device of their own invention, the Scanning Tunneling Microscope, invented at IBM in 1981 and which has had an enormous impact on science. It's opened up possibilities that noone would ever have dreamed of before. The IBM guys won the Nobel prize for the STM in 1986. I don't know if it's their only Nobel, but it certainly hasn't been their only big contribution - there have been a long line of those.


Here's a nice discussion of the STM at Wikipedia:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Scannin...ing_microscope

I've definitely seen some pretty misguided projects come out of IBM, products that didn't make any sense... but those are management failures . At the technical level, they are absolutely first rate.
Old 02-22-2006, 04:06 PM
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Default RE: IBM Still has it

YankeeBoater - 2/22/2006 1:49 PM


Here's one example, a whimsical advertisement by IBM from back in 1990, before the word Nanotechnology existed. This shows their scientists spelling out the word 'IBM', BY MANIPULATING SINGLE XENON ATOMS ON A SOLID SURFACE!. Sorry to yell with caps, but that is worth yelling about. Each bump there is a single xenon atom, that these guys are picking up and laying down where they want to. That was just a stunning demonstration of capabilities. They did it with a previously unknown device of their own invention, the Scanning Tunneling Microscope, invented at IBM in 1981 and which has had an enormous impact on science. It's opened up possibilities that noone would ever have dreamed of before. The IBM guys won the Nobel prize for the STM in 1986. I don't know if it's their only Nobel, but it certainly hasn't been their only big contribution - there have been a long line of those.


Here's a nice discussion of the STM at Wikipedia:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Scannin...ing_microscope

I've definitely seen some pretty misguided projects come out of IBM, products that didn't make any sense... but those are management failures . At the technical level, they are absolutely first rate.
Cool but am I alone in saying ...HUH???? ;?
Old 02-22-2006, 06:24 PM
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Default Re: IBM Still has it

Overcurrent - 2/22/2006 12:33 PM

Tireless - 2/22/2006 11:48 AM

SeaJay - 2/22/2006 10:53 AM

"that was a great company back in the good old days."

It was basically a monopoly back then skirting on the edge of anti competitive behavior.
That, sir, was never proven in a court of law.
No, but Judge Edelstein did everything he could - even long after his retirement - to stick it to IBM. As a result Microsoft and others were able to use business tactics against IBM that IBM was under court order NOT to use.
Roger that. IBM once measured the amount of paper work the judge demanded and they figured they could completely fill over 11 railroad cars with paper.

BTW - I lived in Raleigh for 15 years so you can guess where I worked.......RTP.
Old 02-23-2006, 08:50 AM
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"That, sir, was never proven in a court of law."

Several court decrees that IBM agreed to limiting what they could and could not do in key areas of their business practices avoided that finding. Sort of like a plea bargain IMO, the accused accepts limited punishment and promises not to do it again.
Old 02-23-2006, 09:02 AM
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SeaJay - 2/23/2006 8:50 AM

"That, sir, was never proven in a court of law."

Several court decrees that IBM agreed to limiting what they could and could not do in key areas of their business practices avoided that finding. Sort of like a plea bargain IMO, the accused accepts limited punishment and promises not to do it again.
Many companies enter decree agreements to save money on litigation and to avoid the potential unpredictable outcome of a jury verdict. But if it makes you happy.......let's just stipulate the entire company was acting criminally 30 and 40 years ago even though the court never reached that decision as the case was eventually tossed out.




#########

Twenty years ago, under very similar circumstances, the Reagan administration handled a major antitrust problem it inherited very differently. IBM was indicted by the Johnson administration's Department of Justice in 1969 and charged with illegal monopolization of the general-purpose digital computer systems market. The suit alleged that IBM had systematically engaged in certain exclusionary practices -- sound familiar? -- that tended to create and maintain a monopoly in violation of the Sherman Act. The case finally went to trial in 1975. Yet after more than six years in court and a trial transcript of more than 104,000 pages, the government abandoned the case in 1982 since, as Assistant Attorney General William Baxter so bluntly put it, the 13-year legal persecution was simply "without merit."

IBM, like Microsoft, was accused of bundling software with hardware and thereby excluding competitors, even though, again like Microsoft, the bulk of the consumer-relevant information demonstrated that IBM had innovated rapidly and lowered prices. Finally, in IBM as in Microsoft, there were disgruntled competitors and business rivals who were anxious to see IBM convicted and "tied up" (as one competitor so colorfully put it) by antitrust regulation for years.

In contrast, although there were no findings of fact in the IBM case, there are very unfavorable ones in Microsoft's case. Yet the only reason that there were no unfavorable findings in the IBM case is because it was withdrawn before the angry trial judge could write one!

There is no question whatsoever that IBM was tried before a biased and hostile trial court judge (IBM unsuccessfully tried to remove Judge David Edelstein from the case) who made it perfectly clear in court that he would have found against the company and, perhaps, have even ordered divestiture to break up its supposed monopoly. Allowed to do so, Judge Edelstein would no doubt have produced massive (and completely incorrect) findings of fact, similar in all important respects to the Microsoft fairy tale findings produced by Judge Thomas Penfield Jackson, and now accepted as sacred and untouchable by the antitrust establishment. Such findings in the IBM case would have meant, as they will mean in Microsoft's case, that the prosecution would have dragged on (at least in civil proceedings) for years, perhaps decades, without any
Old 02-23-2006, 05:35 PM
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Default Re: IBM Still has it

Tireless - 2/22/2006 6:24 PM

Overcurrent - 2/22/2006 12:33 PM

Tireless - 2/22/2006 11:48 AM

SeaJay - 2/22/2006 10:53 AM

"that was a great company back in the good old days."

It was basically a monopoly back then skirting on the edge of anti competitive behavior.
That, sir, was never proven in a court of law.
No, but Judge Edelstein did everything he could - even long after his retirement - to stick it to IBM. As a result Microsoft and others were able to use business tactics against IBM that IBM was under court order NOT to use.
Roger that. IBM once measured the amount of paper work the judge demanded and they figured they could completely fill over 11 railroad cars with paper.

BTW - I lived in Raleigh for 15 years so you can guess where I worked.......RTP.
For me, 22 years at RTP and counting......

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