Washington, DC–Nov. 14, 2000–IBM Corp. has been selected to receive the U.S. National Medal of Technology–an award that recognizes lasting contributions to America’s competitiveness and standard of living–in recognition of the company’s leadership in developing and commercializing data storage technologies.
“Our legacy of innovation in the area of information storage is the result of two long-standing commitments–to make the investments required to push the technological frontiers, and to move breakthrough technologies rapidly from the laboratory to the marketplace,” says IBM Chairman and CEO Louis V. Gerstner, Jr.
IBM invented the magnetic hard disk drive in the mid-1950s and is responsible for many breakthroughs in storage technologies over the past 40 years. In 1980, IBM’s first one-gigabyte disk drive, the IBM 3380, was the size of a refrigerator, weighed 550 lbs, and cost $40,000. Earlier this year, the company introduced the one-gigabyte IBM Microdrive, a matchbook-sized device that costs less than $500 and can hold 1,000 digitized photos, 1,000 200-page novels, or nearly 18 hours of digital music.
Such miniature devices provide affordable, high-capacity storage for a wide array of handheld electronic products including digital cameras, personal digital assistants, portable Internet music players, and video cameras. Future applications are likely to include wearable computers, electronic books, global positioning system receivers, and electronic wallets.
The National Medal of Technology will be presented to IBM at a December 1 ceremony in Washington DC.