IBM receives three IEEE awards

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IBM Research took top honors at the recent 2009 IEEE Honors Ceremony in Los Angeles by being presented with three prestigious awards. IBM’s triple crown of IEEE awards includes:

  • Robert Dennard, inventor of the single transistor Dynamic Random Access Memory (DRAM), was awarded the IEEE Medal of Honor;
  • The T.J. Watson Research Center was awarded the 2009 IEEE Corporate Innovation Recognition Award for its long term commitment to pioneering research, innovation development and commercialization of speech recognition; and
  • IBM emeritus Dr. Peter Franaszek was a recipient of the IEEE Richard W. Hamming Medal for his contributions to channel coding for magnetic and optical storage.

“Winning three major awards in a year from IEEE is a tremendous honor, and is both a significant accomplishment and acknowledgement of IBM’s extraordinary leadership in pushing the boundaries of science and technology,” said John E. Kelly III, senior vice president and director of IBM Research. “The satisfaction from these awards can be shared by all IBM researchers as part of the world’s leading research organization, as well as IBMers everywhere for delivering innovation that matters to our clients and the world.”

The IEEE Awards program has paid tribute to technical professionals since 1917, awarding them for exceptional achievements and outstanding contributions that have made a lasting impact on technology, society and the engineering profession.

Dennard Honored with IEEE Medal of Honor

“I’m a humble person, and I realize in engineering that things are a team effort. On a project like DRAM, everyone contributes,” said award recipient Bob Dennard. “The award is a great honor for me, but it’s an even greater honor for DRAM and the creation it is.”

Dennard was first granted a patent for the DRAM in 1968. Soon after, DRAM became commercially available and is now used in all computer component and system manufacturing. DRAM consists of an array of memory cells integrated on a silicon chip in which each cell consists of a metal-oxide-semiconductor (MOS) transistor and capacitor in the same MOS technology. Information is stored as a charge on the capacitor and the transistor is used to control reading and writing.

IBM Speech Recognition Leadership

“The IBM Speech Research team is honored and proud for receiving this award,” said David Nahamoo, IBM Fellow and Speech CTO. “The speech recognition project at IBM Research has been a long crusade that has been led and influenced by great many researchers for half a century. Our success is not only due to so many great innovators who have worked here during these years, but also a testimony on the wisdom and culture of IBM Research in providing an environment that promotes long term research and innovation.”

The IBM T.J. Watson Research Center has pioneered much of the basics of speech recognition technology and continues to be influential in setting the directions in which the technology moves today. Statistical modeling for the technology became in the 1970s, but can be seen in various aspects of everyday life today, from vehicle, cell phone and audio system voice commands to voice-automated phone menus.

IEEE Richard W. Hamming Medal presented to Franaszek

Peter Franaszek, who recently retired from IBM, was recognized by IEEE for pioneering contributions to the theory and practice of run-length constrained channel coding for magnetic and optical storage. Widely used in digital recording and communications systems, the tool puts limitations on the sequence of data streams to allow clock and fast data synchronization. Franaszek was the first to develop practical methods for the limited codes, which ensure that the boundary lengths between bits of data are neither too short nor too long so that data can always be accurately found.

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