The Research Is First Class. If Only Development Was, Too

For decades, IBM has prided itself on its world-class research. Big Blue spends $6 billion a year on its sprawling R&D enterprise with major laboratories in the U. S., Europe, and Japan. And the company's scientists rank among the best anywhere. In 1986, they won the Nobel prize for inventing the scanning tunneling microscope, which enables researchers to spot individual atoms. In 1987, they won another Nobel prize -- for achieving high-temperature superconductivity. And in 1990, IBM scientists were the first to build structures only a single atom wide, a crucial step on the road to ultrafast chips.

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