IBM Corporate and Patent Portfolio Awards (2010)       


IBM Corporate and Patent Portfolio Awards (2010) - overview

IBM Corporate and Patent Portfolio Awards honor researchers who made significant contributions to database theory, component business modeling, IT architecture, event processing, networking technology and consumer safety.

Researchers at IBM are among the recipients of the IBM Corporate Award, an annual award that recognizes employees who contribute to breakthrough technical achievements that have led to significant market and industry success for the company. Additional IBM researchers received the Patent Portfolio Award for their role in facilitating the placement of IBM patents in consumer and networking products.

2010 IBM Corporate Award recipients

Ron FaginIBM researcher Ronald Fagin has received the IBM Corporate Award for advancing the theory and practice of modern data-intensive computing systems, especially data management systems. He is among eighty IBM employees to receive the award, which acknowledges breakthrough technical achievements that had led to significant market and industry success for IBM.

Fagin, manager, foundations of computer science at IBM, is a founding father of database theory. His contributions over the last years have advanced our understanding of data and knowledge, informed the practice of database management, provided new algorithms for data management, and formed the foundations for new tools and new approaches for managing, querying and integrating information.

Among his key inventions:

  • Extendible hashing, widely used in database query processing.
  • Differential data backup, a key feature of Tivoli Storage Manager.
  • Principles and tools for database design.
  • Algorithms for automating data transformation.

In the sciences, Fagin is renowned as the creator of the field of finite model theory. He is a founder of relational database theory and is a thought-leader in the field of reasoning about knowledge.

Jorge Sanz and John G. Vergo received an IBM Corporate Award for helping companies transform their operations by using the Component Business Modeling method.

Component Business Modeling identifies business priorities for transforming and optimizing operations, and aligns IT investments with strategy and operational needs. The industry and cross-industry assets and tools work, which received this award, provides the foundation, codified methods and content frameworks to help IBM Global Business Services consultants and IBM clients achieve their business objectives.

Sanz and Vergo's work provides a structured approach to deconstruct a client's business into components and business architecture. Replicable frameworks, created by harvesting work from engagements and asset reuse, consist of 75 models spanning 17 industries. These assets save consultants significant time in new engagements — and create a significant advantage for IBM in the marketplace.

Steven Abrams and Douglas N. Kimelman shared an IBM Corporate Award for their work regarding IT architecture.

The Architect's Workbench and Rational Software Modeler supports the practice of IT architecture for Global Business Services and Global Technology Services. The prototype for the Architect's Workbench has been incorporated by IBM Research into a strategic Rational tool as a plug-in.

Key technical accomplishments include:

  • Model mediation
  • Conversion and architectural reconciliation (and customer-ready graphics)
  • Architectural building blocks
  • Asset reuse
  • Support for network layers 1-3

The novel video approach to transfer the technology paved the way for broader deployment across the two IBM Services organizations and architecture practices. It reduces risk and enhances our ability to deliver complex IT systems by helping architects capture, organize, manage, evaluate and document all facets of an IT architecture — all within an integrated environment.

This approach to modeling is unique. It allows practitioners to start with unstructured documents, such as meeting notes, then progressively structure and refine the information using the modeling and re-factoring features.

The Architect's Workbench supports the creative process of architectural thinking and modeling, helping practitioners rapidly respond to customer requests in large ongoing engagements. And it helps ensure delivery of high-quality solutions to customer problems.

Opher Etzion, along with Beth Hutchison (U.K., now retired) shared an IBM Corporate Award for their deep insights and ground-breaking research into event processing.

Analysts now recognize IBM as a leader in event processing — the highest growing sector of enterprise middleware. Indeed, event processing, the technology underpinning an intelligent infrastructure, is at the heart of IBM's Smarter Planet initiative.

IBM's activities in event processing began with the Active Midleware Technology project at the IBM Research Lab in Haifa. Since 1998, the Haifa Lab has been at the heart of industry developments in the field. Event processing has an impact on many major IBM middleware products, including: WebSphere Message Broker, WebSphere Enterprise Service Bus, Customer Information Control System, WebSphere Business Events, WebSphere Sensor events, Entity Analytics, WebSphere Extreme Scale, the Industrial sector Integrated Information Framework and recent work on the common decision management platform that will include ILOG/Business Rule Management Systems Jrules, WebSphere Business Events and various predictive analytics components.

2010 Patent Portfolio Award recipients

Ronald P. Luijten received a Patent Portfolio Award for his role in advancing networking technology and for playing a key part in the networking industry as represented by a widely cited patent for a fundamental transport mechanism in network switching systems.

The configurable gigabit/s switch adapter relates to a data transmission system and concerns a method for transforming variable sized user frames such as (a) IP protocol into fixed-length cells, and (b) Asynchronous Transfer Mode protocol, so the fixed-length cells can be transported through a cell handling switch fabric. The fixed-length cells are received at the destination through the cell handling fabric and the user frames are then reconstructed. These techniques are used extensively in networking technologies.

The patent has more than 180 forward references in network industry patents, including patents by Cisco, Alcatel, Nortel, Sprint and others. It has been used extensively in cross-licensing efforts with network equipment manufacturers playing a key role in many instances as a core highlighted patent or proof package. These cross licenses include such companies as Juniper Networks, Foundry Networks, Enterasys Networks, Ciena and many others. It was assigned in 2008 to Qualcomm.

Roger Cox (now retired) received the Patent Portfolio Award for his significant contribution to consumer safety, which enabled the growth of the personal computer industry by providing low-voltage, direct-current control of personal computer power supplies.

Rather than relying on relatively large switches for turning the main supply current on and off, Cox's invention uses a relatively low-voltage, direct-current signal to control the power supply, thereby enabling and disabling the supply of electrical power to the logic and storage components in the PC. This low-voltage direct-current signal is derived from the alternating current main supply. By controlling the application of the low voltage signal, the user can control the amount of power going to the logic and storage components in the PC.

This patent generally pertains to 12V power supplies to mother-boards and relates to Intel standardization activity regarding PC power supplies. It has been used in licensing negotiations with at least 20 companies, including Siemens (Flextronics), Trigem Computer, MCJ Corp. and Proton. It is being used now in a significant cross-licensing negotiation. Recently, it played a key role in cross-licenses with LG Electronics, ASUSTeK and Super Micro.

A version of this story originally appeared on the IBM intranet. It was written by Kieran Cannistra.

Last updated on September 13, 2010